Sydney is bracing for severe heat today with temperatures predicted to reach 41°C.
And as New South Wales prepares for severe weather police have reactivated their arson taskforce.
Emergency services have been placed on high alert before expected near record-breaking temperatures and strong gusty winds, which could turn much of the state into a tinderbox.
The forecast Sydney maximum of 41°C for Sydney is less than one degree short of the November record of 41.8°C , set in 1982.
The extreme heat, expected across much of the state, has been caused by a cold front, moving up from the south, meeting a sluggish high pressure system over the Tasman Sea.
It is expected to suck hot, dry air from central Australia into NSW.