NSW bushfires surround Sydney but conditions ease for now
Infographic: There are four major zones down the east coast of NSW. (ABC News)
New South Wales's bushfire crisis arrived in Sydney yesterday, with two massive blazes threatening homes on two sides of the city.
A total fire ban has been declared for areas surrounding the Harbour City today as a deteriorating weather forecast for later today has authorities on high alert.
However, conditions eased overnight, and the total number of fires across NSW decreased, which will give firefighters the opportunity to conduct backburning this morning.
Several suburbs in the south-west were under threat yesterday as windy conditions blew embers ahead of a fire front in Wollondilly.
Meanwhile, several blazes combined north of Sydney yesterday morning to create a 60-kilometre "mega fire" that stretches all the way to Singleton, on the banks of the Hunter River.
It is now larger in size than the Sydney metropolitan area.
Strong winds fanned flames towards several suburbs in south-west Sydney, where Oakdale man Luke Wright helped save his brother's home.
"It's been going on all day, a fire came from the back and we put it out," he said.
"But then another one came from the side so the firies covered the house in foam.
"The fence has been damaged but that's about it, very lucky."
So far this season, 684 homes have been destroyed by bushfires in NSW.
The temperature in Sydney's CBD is expected to hit 26 degrees Celsius today, but closer to the firegrounds at Camden in the south-west there is a forecast high of 34C.
The New England and Northern Slopes regions will also be of particular concern.
Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Dean Sgarbossa said while today was expected to be difficult for firefighters, there was good news on the horizon.
"Although we will see a continuation of dry, hot conditions, the winds will ease," he said.
"Some will ease on Saturday but more so on Sunday when the pressure builds over the Tasman Sea, directing lower temperatures, high humidity but lighter winds, particularly over the adjacent coast where many of these fires are located."
The smoke that has shrouded Sydney on-and-off for weeks is not going anywhere, however.
Mr Sgarbossa said it would "stagnate" over the Sydney basin and surrounding areas today, before easterly winds tomorrow blow it further inland.