Sydney set for more ‘poor’ air quality as NSW South Coast bushfires continue to burn

Lingering smoke from bushfires will again create poor air quality in parts of Sydney on Tuesday.

Air quality reached hazardous levels in parts of southwestern Sydney on Monday evening and was recorded as poor in parts of the city’s east.

The state government says air quality on Tuesday will be “poor due to particles” from the extensive smoke coming from bushfires burning across the state.

A temperature inversion forming over the city on Monday night could trap smoke in the Sydney basin on Tuesday, the NSW Rural Fire Service says.

“Smoke levels are expected to be similar if not worse than experienced over recent mornings,” the NSWRFS said in a statement.

There were 119 bush and grass fires burning across NSW on Monday evening with 48 of these uncontained.

The out-of-control fire at Currowan is burning across almost 25,000 hectares and is being pushed east towards coastal communities but tempered overnight as gusty northeasterly winds moderated.

Firefighters battle to contain a fire at Currowan.

Firefighters battle to contain a fire at Currowan.


Firefighters on Monday rallied to save homes on the south coast as fierce winds fanned a fast-moving fire which quadrupled in size in less than two days.

RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons on Tuesday confirmed that properties west of Kioloa had been damaged and destroyed amid the blazes. Authorities would assess the extent of damage throughout the day.

The Currowan fire remains at “watch and act” alert level and evacuation centres have been set up at Ulladulla and Batemans Bay.

“We do have some early indications of property being lost or impacted to the west of the area of Kioloa, largely where the fire crossed the Clyde River there yesterday,” Mr Fitzsimmons told the Seven Network.

“Unfortunately there’s still a lot of very active fire edge on this fire, which is why it’s remaining at watch-and-act alert level, and conditions could certainly change if we see the winds influence fire behaviour on that again.”

There are no total fire bans in place for Tuesday but there is a “very high” fire danger stretching along the NSW coast and in the northern parts of the state.

The Bureau of Meteorology says smoke is forecast to linger in parts of Sydney into Tuesday.

The heavy smoke blanketing the city is being blown from large bushfires in the Blue Mountains and near Warragamba Dam.

Sydney has been regularly plagued by hazardous air quality levels as bushfires have raged in recent weeks.

A fire burning in the Blue Mountains near Katoomba was downgraded from a watch and act alert level to an advice alert on Monday night.

Firefighters had previously warned residents the 600-hectare fire was spreading towards “built-up areas”.

NSW Police have expressed concerns about the number of people deliberately lighting fires.

Two million hectares of NSW land have been burnt since July in more than 7000 fires, with authorities dubbing it the “most challenging bushfire season ever”.

Six people have died while 673 homes have been destroyed to date.

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