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Bushfire burnoffs blanket Sydney in smoke

Sydneysiders have been urged to stay indoors due to poor air quality as thick smoke from bushfire hazard reduction burns settles over the city.

File photo: AAP/Dean Lewins

File photo: AAP/Dean Lewins

The NSW Environment Department on Monday ranked air quality in east Sydney very poor, recommending those with health conditions to stay indoors.

“If you feel that the air in your home is uncomfortable, consider going to a place with cleaner air (such as an air-conditioned building like a library or shopping centre) if it is safe to do so,” the agency’s Air Quality website said.

Air quality in some other parts of Sydney were ranked “fair” and “good”, according to the site.

NSW Rural Fire Service said smoke from hazard reduction burns conducted on Sunday had settled across much of Sydney overnight.

“The smoke will start to clear this morning however further burns are scheduled for today,” the RFS said on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.

“Residents of Sydney and Central Coast may continue to see and smell smoke until mid-week,” the rural firefighting agency said.

The hazard reduction burns come as the RFS ramps up efforts to prepare for a potentially severe bushfire season.

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Only about 24 per cent of planned hazard reduction burns were done in 2022/23 due to inclement weather making backburning a priority.

Meanwhile, emergency services continue to battle a huge blaze in the Northern Territory, with fire bans extended near Tennant Creek and fire bombers enlisted from South Australia.

Nearby residents have been warned that smoky conditions are expected to continue for days, as winds of up to 60 km/h carry smoke far from the flames.

-AAP

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