The "longest period" of air pollution on record for NSW is set to continue with severe bushfire conditions across large chunks of the state.
The Bureau of Meteorology says heavy smoke billowing from bushfires surrounding Sydney will linger in the city basin until Saturday.
Poor air quality has again been forecast for Sydney after hazardous levels of pollution were recorded in the east and southwest of the city yesterday.https://twitter.com/NSWRFS/status/1202288528081604608?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
Heavy smoke has been blowing into the city from a large fire near Warragamba Dam near the Blue Mountains, the NSW Rural Fire Service says.
"An overnight temperature inversion will trap the smoke in the Sydney basin. This means smoke will settle in many areas and be very heavy," the RFS said in a statement.
"Smoke is also affecting areas including the north coast, Central Coast, Hawkesbury, Wollondilly, Queanbeyan and Shoalhaven areas."
The NSW environment department says this season's bushfire emergency has caused "some of the highest air pollution ever seen in NSW".
"Recently NSW has experienced elevated levels of pollutants as a result of smoke from the bushfire emergency, and dust caused by the severe drought," a spokesman said.
"NSW has experienced other periods of poor air quality that lasted several weeks, including the 1994 Sydney bushfires and the Black Christmas bushfires of December 2001 to January 2002.
"This event, however, is the longest and the most widespread in our records."
The NSW Rural Fire service has issued widespread total fire bans for today, with hot and windy conditions expected to worsen across the state.
QUEENSLAND FIRE THREATENS HOMES
Queensland fire crews have been unable to beat back a large bushfire that is threatening lives and homes in the state's southeast corner near Toowoomba.
Conditions are getting worse and any residents of Forest Ridge and nearby Cypress Gardens who remain have been told to leave immediately or follow their bushfire survival plan as 24 fire crews attempt to control the blaze.
"Fire crews are working to contain the fire but firefighters may not be able to protect every property. You should not expect a firefighter at your door," the state's Rural Fire Service said on Thursday.
Part of the Gore Highway has been closed between Cypress Gardens and the BP at Captains Mountain since Wednesday evening as the fire rages southwest of Millmerran, a town not far from Toowoomba.
An evacuation centre is now open at the Millmerran Showgrounds.
A second fire significant fire is burning at Carneys Creek near the Queensland and New South Wales Border, with people there being told to get ready to leave.
Crews are fighting the fire on the ground and from the air.