The NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) has issued a statewide fire ban for Saturday and Sunday, as extreme heat sweeps the state.
The RFS has warned of catastrophic fire weather conditions in the Hunter region on Sunday.
NSW RFS commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said residents in the area should have their fire escape plans ready.
“We will start to see fire dangers increase across Southern NSW on Friday. On Saturday, temperatures and winds will pick up, meaning an increased fire danger extending across much of the state,” he said.
“On Sunday, winds will continue to strengthen. If the forecast eventuates we’re likely to see Catastrophic fire danger develop in some areas including the Hunter.”
The fire warning has coincided with the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) predicting an extreme and potentially record breaking heatwave over the weekend.
Acting NSW regional director Stephen Lellyett said the heat had been building up in the past few weeks in central Australia.
"An approaching front to the south is now dragging this hot air down across NSW," he said.
"This will lead to widespread severe heatwave conditions and locally extreme heatwave conditions along parts of the coast.”
BOM reported that January was the hottest month is NSW in more than 150 years, with temperatures expected to stay on the high end of the scale, right through to autumn.
Some towns in the state are continuing to smash records, with Moree and Walgett both close to 50 consecutive days of weather over 35 degrees. The previous record was 29 consecutive days above 35 degrees and was recorded in 1882 and 1896.
Bourke is in for a whopping 47 degrees tomorrow, while Broken Hill and Dubbo will both sweat through 45 degrees. Coastal cities from Lismore, right down to Sydney are facing temperatures in the high 40’s, while towns further west are in for temperatures in the low 40’s.
BOM predicts it will be 43 in Wagga Wagga, Mildura and Young.
The heatwave is expected to subside overnight on Sunday, dropping the mercury over 10 degrees, for a more moderate Monday morning.