State of emergency declared as ACT bushfire threat looms

A STATE of emergency has been declared in the ACT as Canberra faces its biggest bushfire threat for more than 15 years.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr made the announcement on Friday, with an 18,000ha fire in the Namadgi National Park set to threaten homes in the capital's south.

"The ACT is now facing the worst bushfire threat since the devastating fires of 2003," he told reporters on Friday.

The extreme heat will continue into Sunday in the west. In the city it will top out at 34C tomorrow.

Across the fire-ravaged south coast, the bureau is forecasting more of the same, with a top of 43C forecast for Bega.

The dry and windy conditions will bring elevated fire dangers to the southeastern parts of NSW, with a total fire ban in place.

The increased fire danger has prompted several schools and TAFE campuses to close.

A Smokey sunrise over Sydney Airport ahead of forecasted hot days .picture John Grainger
A Smokey sunrise over Sydney Airport ahead of forecasted hot days .picture John Grainger

Bermagui, Bodalla, Bredbo, Candelo, Central Tilba, Jerangle, Michelago, Tanja, Towamba,

Wolumla and Wyndham public schools, Moruya high and public schools, Narooma high and public schools, as well as Moruya and Ulladulla TAFE campuses will be closed Friday.

Meanwhile, the ACT's Orroral fire, which has threatened properties in recent days, could cross the NSW border as the hot and windy conditions fan the flames.

Windy conditions on Sunday in regional NSW are also likely to bring dust storms.

Winds in excess of 50km/h are expected in areas around the Snowy Mountains and could pose a hazard to road users.