A hazardous air quality warning has been issued for Sydney today with thick bushfire smoke blanketing the city.

A poor Air Quality Forecast Alert has been issued by the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, according to the Bureau of Meteorology, with reports that our air quality is almost as poor as Mumbai.

 

The BOM has said that smoke has reduced air quality across several districts including Sydney, Wollongong ad Newcastle.

The smoke could stick around until late this evening when a southerly wind change is expected to arrive.

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The advice is to try and avoid exercise and stay inside if you can. If you do suffer from conditions such as asthma, use preventative medication, and seek medical help if symptoms persist.

A total fire ban is also in place for seven areas of NSW today with Sydney set to see a severe fire danger rating, which is two below the highest level of catastrophic.

The total fire ban has been declared for areas including Greater Sydney, Illawarra/Shoalhaven, Greater Hunter, Central Ranges, Southern Ranges, Northern Slopes and North Western.

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This means that no fires are to be lit in the open as hot, dry and windy weather is predicted.

In fact, according to the Bureau of Metereology, parts of the Sydney region can expect to see temperatures close to 40 degrees today.

While the CBD is likely to see 32C, areas like Penrith could hit 39C and Campbelltown and Richmond could hit 37C.

There is likely to be strong winds in the afternoon, around 30 to 50km/h in the afternoon. The wind is set to change directions throughout the day, making things difficult for firefighters.