STORY: Extreme fire danger warnings were in place for the greater Sydney region, home to more than 5 million people, as parts of Australia sweltered in an unusual five-day burst of spring heat, forecast to last until Wednesday.
Total fire bans are in place for large swathes of New South Wales, with Sydney on Wednesday set to post its fifth consecutive daytime maximum temperature of more than 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) in September, a record. But a cold front from Thursday (September 21) will push temperatures down to the low 20s.
After three years of heavy rains and frequent flooding, Australia is bracing for a warm and dry southern hemisphere spring and summer in 2023. On Tuesday (September 19), Australia's Bureau of Meteorology declared an El Nino weather pattern, typically associated with wildfires and droughts, was underway.