The Australian Department of Environment said the smoke had pushed air quality beyond "hazardous" levels in Sydney's north-west as bushfires continue to choke large parts of NSW.
The smoke is spreading from the Gospers Mountain out of control fire. Health experts warned those with medical conditions to stay inside. There are 48 fires burning across the state, with 23 uncontained. "People just need to build it into their routine a little bit for the next period of time," Richard Broome from the Department of Health said. “We’ve got the worst to come,” former NSW fire commissioner Greg Mullins told media.
Map of fires across east coast of Australia
Fires have burnt through about 1.6 million hectares of land, which is more than the entire 1993-94 season. Much of the state was in drought and while in previous years you could see indicators for moisture or rain in the build-up, this year they weren’t there. The NSW Rural Fire Service last week announced it was leasing a DC-10 Air Tanker from the United States to help with fire efforts. This aircraft can be used to drop up to 35,000 litres of water or fire retardant.