Toxic haze blanketed Sydney triggering a chorus of smoke alarms to ring across the city, as Australians braced for "severe" weather conditions expected to fuel deadly bush blazes. Fire engines raced office-to-office in the city centre with sirens blaring, as inland bushfires poured smoke laden with toxic particles into commercial buildings. By early Tuesday, there were already nearly 100 bushfire incidents in the state of New South Wales alone and dozens more in Queensland. (Reuters Photo)
Mask-wearing commuters choked their way through thick acrid air. (Reuters Photo)
Temperatures in some inland areas are expected to ease past 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit). (Reuters Photo)
Thick smoke from wildfires shroud the Opera House in Sydney. Hot dry conditions have brought an early start to the fire season. (AP Photo)
Extensive bushfires have killed 21 people so far since September and destroyed more than 5 million hectares (13 million acres) of land.
To the northwest of Sydney, several fires already burning for weeks have combined to create a "megafire" that has already destroyed 319,000 hectares (788,000 acres) of land, mostly inside national parks. (AP Photo)
Ash from bushfires that affected New South Wales in the last days is seen in the water on Balmoral Beach in Sydney, in this still image obtained from a social media video. (Reuters Photo)