Smoke blankets Sydney as wildfires spread across Australia
Air quality issues
Thick smog shrouded Australia's most populous city, leaving its iconic skyline barely visible two days after smoke created serious air quality issues.
600 homes destroyed
``The smoke is expected to continue for several days,'' the fire service said.
Wildfires have destroyed more than 600 homes in Australia's most populous state.
People with respiratory or heart conditions were advised to stay indoors and seek medical advice when necessary.
The fire danger has also spread with authorities issuing declaring high fire risk for parts of Victoria state to the south. It is the first time in a decade Victoria has been declared Code Red, with the highest possible fire risk and a statewide total fire ban.
Melbourne, Australia's second most populous city, is forecast on Thursday to hit 39C (102F) after falling just short of its hottest November minimum at 26C (79F) overnight.
Fire danger "severe"
The fire danger was also elevated to ``severe`` in the island state of Tasmania off mainland Australia's southeastern coast, while more than 40 wildfires have broken out in South Australia.