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Residents told it’s too late to leave as bushfires escalate

A severe fire danger warning has been put in place as searing temperatures return to much of New South Wales.

The mercury will rise above 40 degrees across most of Sydney today, with the CBD, Parramatta and Richmond all to hit 41 degrees.

Canberra airport has been closed with no flights coming in or out after a bushfire was upgraded to Emergency Level.

A total fire ban is in place for the metropolitan region, as well as six other parts of the state.

1300 Rural Fire Service volunteers are on the ground across the state, preparing for the dangerous conditions.

Greg Allan from the NSW RFS tells Deborah Knight the Janpieter Road fire at Box Hill is threatening homes.

“The fire’s burning under very strong northwesterly winds around the Box Hill and Nelson area. And for residents in that area, they are at risk, so it is too late to leave.

“The advice for Box Hill and the suburb of Nelson is to seek shelter as the fire approaches and to protect yourself from the heat of the fire.”

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Emergency Services Minister David Elliott tells Deborah Knight people need to be on alert.

“My great fear is that there will be a sense of complacency because we’ve had a bit of rain.

“It has been the day that we have feared.”

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NSW RFS Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers tells Deborah Knight high winds are making it difficult for firefighters.

“These three fires are moving quite fast, moving towards properties.

“We’re having problems with visibility and also getting aircraft into places.”

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Image: File photo (RFS)