Areas of Eastern Australiaincluding Sydney, today recorded the hottest day for a period of more than two years, with temperatures exceed 40 degrees Celsiusincreasing the risk of forest fires.

Firefighters are fighting to put out the fire 40 forest fires throughout New South Wales, where he resides t1/3 of Australianswith the extinguishing effort being carried out both by ground means and by aircraft.

A fire near Madgi and more than 250 kilometers northwest of Sydney has put the region on alert. Fire crews urged residents to seek safe shelter in the area as it was too late to evacuate.

Total fire restrictions have now been imposed in many areas across most of New South Wales, while 35 public schools, most of them in inland areas, have been closed due to the high temperatures.

“If a fire starts in these difficult conditions … (it will be) harder for our firefighters to get it under control, and a fire like that can spread very quickly, especially in pastures,” Angela told the ABC Burford, NSW Rural Fire Service operations officer.

Dry thunderstorms are likely across eastern New South Wales, bringing lightning conditions that could spark new fires, the Met Office said, with the same weather conditions likely to persist into Wednesday.

Penrith, a suburb west of Sydney recorded a temperature of 40.1 degrees Celsius on Monday afternoon. This is the hottest day since January 26, 2021, while in some of the inland cities, the temperature reached 41 degrees Celsius.

The east coast of Australia has been affected by the La Niña weather phenomenon, which is typically accompanied by increased rainfall over the past two years, resulting in heavy rainfall and widespread flooding.

In 2022, Sydney recorded the higher annual rainfall rate since the beginning of keeping relevant records in 1858.

However, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology predicted last week that according to climate models the La Niña weather phenomenon “is likely to be nearing its end”, while neutral weather conditions that cannot be classified as La Niña or the opposite weather phenomenon El Niño is likely to prevail during autumn in the southern hemisphere of the earth.