Mercury to hit 43 in NSW scorcher
New South Wales residents are bracing for a scorcher with the mercury set to rise to 43 in parts of the state, marking the hottest day since February and sparking bushfires.
Conditions are expected to be warm throughout NSW but will become hottest in the north west slopes with towns like Walgett and Brewarinna expected to hit 43 degrees.
"It could be the hottest day since February in these parts," Bureau of Meteorology duty forecaster Shuang Wang said.
The city's west is also set to bear the brunt of the summer conditions, with a forecast of 41 degrees in Penrith.
In Sydney, residents will swelter through warm conditions, with temperatures slated to hit 36 in the city before a cool change brings some relief in the evening but presenting the risk of gusty showers and thunderstorms.
The warm weather conditions have been prompted by north-westerly winds, which are pushing hot air from inland Australia.
The tinderbox conditions caused a watch and act level grass fire to burn through 1,000 hectares of land on Cobb Highway in Deniliquin on the NSW-Victoria border. The fire was downgraded to advice around 10am on Monday.
More than 50 firefighters were joined by waterbombing aircraft battled the blaze.
Watch & Act: Cobb Hwy Fire, Deniliquin, burning approx 7km south of Deniliquin township & to the east of Cobb Hwy. A westerly wind change has moved across the fireground pushing the fire towards the Edward River. Waterbombing aircraft will be sent this morning to assist. #NSWRFS pic.twitter.com/gUnmE5y26p— NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) November 15, 2020
Other parts of the state are on alert with a very high fire danger rating in the Far North Coast, Greater Sydney, North West, North Coast, Illawarra/Shoalhaven and Northern Slopes.
Ms Wang said the combination of fresh, north westerly winds and high temperatures could be "dangerous" in terms of fire risk.
As beachgoers flock to the water for some relief from the heat, health authorities have reminded them to maintain social distancing.
Swimmers are also being urged to be vigilant in the water for Swim Safer Week after a young boy drowned in a Blue Mountains water hole just hours before another died in Taree.
NSW Ambulance Inspector Peter Van Praag said the tragedies were a reminder of the need to take care when near the water.
"Nobody intends for these tragedies to happen, but that's the thing about accidents - they happen in second - but the impact can remain for a lifetime."
Originally published as Mercury to hit 43 in NSW scorcher