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Australia battles with bush fire smoke, hottest October in 80 years

SYDNEY, Australia: Residents have been warned to expect bushfire smoke to blanket Sydney for days, as Victoria and South Australia experiences the hottest October in 80 years.

Bush fire in northern New South Wales has scorched nearly 2500 hectares near Port Macquarie, sending smoke across Sydney, the Illawarra and Nowra on the south coast.

Visibility in Sydney has been reduced to around 1500 metres only. In Taree and Moruya, it dropped to as low as 100 metres.

The NSW Department of Environment has issued a poor air quality warning for Sydney today, including the Central Business District, North Shore and the Eastern Suburbs.

Smog has also overtaken western parts of the state down to Wagga Wagga.

People with heart and lung diseases are being cautioned about the dangers of inhaling toxic air.

Children and the elderly are also at increased risk.

Temperatures in southeast Australia have soared over the 30s in major capitals with the ongoing heatwave, escalating the risk of dangerous fires in the region.

Parts of Sydney may swelter up to 34 degrees today while Canberra is expected to warm up to at least 32 degrees.

Bureau of Meteorology NSW Fire Danger Ratings warn residents of ‘High’ risk in Sydney and ‘Very High’ risk in The Australian Capital Territory on Friday.