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Total fire ban is issued for NSW as the state swelters through a blistering heatwave

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The heatwave sweeping Australia is set to shatter a 60-year record in NSW today where a total fire ban has been issued and some beaches and watering holes shut due to increased bushfire danger.

National Parks and Wildlife Services said most hiking paths and some beaches would be closed from midnight on Saturday as a precaution. 

‘From midnight tonight and while the total fire ban is in place most tracks, trails and remote campgrounds in Sydney’s national parks will be closed,’ NPWS Greater Sydney Director Deon van Rensburg said.

‘The hot conditions not only bring about severe fire danger but also attract crowds to the beaches in our coastal parks and we must take all steps to continue to keep these areas COVID-safe.’

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People flocked to Bronte Beach on Saturday (pictured above) to  escape the relentless heatwave

National Parks and Wildlife Services said most hiking paths and some beaches would be closed from midnight on Saturday as a precaution. The Royal Coast Track, which includes access to Wedding Cake Rock and Figure 8 Pools (pictured) will be shut

National Parks and Wildlife Services said most hiking paths and some beaches would be closed from midnight on Saturday as a precaution. The Royal Coast Track, which includes access to Wedding Cake Rock and Figure 8 Pools (pictured) will be shut

The Royal Coast Track, which includes access to Wedding Cake Rock and Figure 8 Pools, will be shut as well as Lady Carrington Drive in the Royal National Park and the Great North Walk to the north of Sydney.  

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Wattamolla in the Royal National Park and The Basin in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park will remain open but are expected to fill up at the beginning of the day.  

By 10am on Saturday, temperatures had already reached 34C in some parts of Sydney, with Penrith in the city’s west exceeding 40C. 

At 3am Sunday morning the temperature in the Sydney CBD was still 27C and set to climb again. 

The highest-recorded temperature was at the airport, an energy sapping 41.7C.

No respite is expected until Sunday evening, with the mercury expecting to climb past 39C again. 

Weatherwatch’s Don White said if Sydney’s Observatory Hill reaches 39C on Sunday it would be the hottest pair of days in 60 years, news.com.au reported.

‘If we did have 39 again tomorrow, it’d be the first time we’d had two days of 39 degree or more since 1960,’ he said.  

If Sydney gets to 40C on Sunday, it would be the first time the Harbour City has achieved the back to back feat outside of January in 162 years of records, according to Nine News.  

Saturday night will only bring minimal relief, with overnight lows expected to stay above 24C.

The Bureau of Meteorology said Saturday night would ‘be hot and awful for a lot of people’.

‘Tonight Sydney is unlikely to get below 25 degrees. Dubbo 26C, Cobar 30C,  Gosford 25C, Tibooburra 30C, Canberra 20C,’ the bureau tweeted.  

A southerly buster is expected to roar up the coast at about 6pm on Sunday, which could see temperatures drop as much as 20C.  

In ominous news, temperatures across NSW are then tipped to spike again on Tuesday as heatwave conditions envelope inland areas.  

The NSW Rural Fire Service has also issued a severe fire danger warning for parts of NSW on Sunday.

The RFS (pictured above) issued a fire ban for Sunday ahead of another scorching day being predicted by weather experts

The RFS (pictured above) issued a fire ban for Sunday ahead of another scorching day being predicted by weather experts

‘Severe fire danger is forecast for Far North Coast, North Coast, Greater Hunter, Greater Sydney Region and North Western, with Very High fire danger forecast for Illawarra/Shoalhaven, Central Ranges, New England and Northern Slopes tomorrow Sunday 29 November,’ RFS said.

‘A total fire ban will be in force for these areas from midnight tonight. Check and review your bush fire survival plan.’

Conditions were equally harsh interstate, with South Australia following up a scorching Friday with a very warm Saturday, after temperatures hit 46C in Port Augusta. 

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Victoria is also feeling the heat, with temperatures in Mildura on Saturday reaching 45C.

The water at Bondi Beach (pictured above) was the place to be as people sought refuge from the heatwave conditions

The water at Bondi Beach (pictured above) was the place to be as people sought refuge from the heatwave conditions

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