Brutal reality of Sydney’s smoke haze

A thick haze enveloped Sydney on Thursday. Picture: NCA NewsWIRE/ Monique Harmer/

Sydney registered the third worst air quality in the world on Thursday morning as the city awoke to its fourth day blanketed in a thick haze from hazard reduction burns.

The Harbour City was enveloped in smog on Thursday, sending air quality tumbling.

According to IQAir, at one point on Thursday morning, Sydney’s air quality was ranked the third worst in the world, behind Dubai and Lahore.

By mid-afternoon, it was sitting in 15th, according to their world air quality ranking.

A thick haze settled over Sydney on Thursday. Picture: NCA Newswire/Monique Harmer.

For several days, the city’s visibility and air quality have suffered due to hazard reduction burns being undertaken by the NSW Rural Fire Service.

Sydney is set to be hit by soaring temperatures on the weekend in what will be the first taste of summer.

According to the Bureau of Meteorology, Sydney will have a maximum temperature of 30C on Saturday and will hover in the high 20s and low 30s until at least the middle of next week.

The RFS has said that the smoke is expected to clear over the weekend.

Hazard reduction burns caused a thick smog to settle on the city. Picture: NCA NewsWIRE/Monique Harmer.

The service said it had completed many of its hazard reduction burns, but some smaller burns were still ongoing.

BOM is forecasting the chance of smoke haze to hang around on Friday morning.

On Sunday morning, 42,000 runners are expected to take part in the Sydney marathon, prompting warnings from some experts about potential risks to athletes should the haze hang around.

Organisers have said they were taking precautionary measures including adding water stations and medical assistance points across the course.