There are no total fire bans or severe fire warnings in place for Thursday and Sydney will experience a top temperature of 25 degrees.
The Rural Fire Service will look to make the most of more favourable conditions around the state before things deteriorate again on Saturday, when extreme temperatures are expected to return.
“The key day we’re really keeping an eye on is Saturday,” said Bureau of Meteorology Senior Climatologist Agata Imielska.
A top of 25 degrees is expected in the city on Thursday before it reaches 28 on Friday and 35 on Saturday.
A large part of the state will reach severe heatwave conditions on the weekend, as well as having to worry about the threat of fire and smoke.
It is expected to reach 44 in Penrith on Saturday and 43 in Richmond.
“Tomorrow will be similar to today in terms of the conditions that we’ve seen,” Ms Imielska said.
“Obviously on New Year’s Eve we saw very dangerous and very challenging conditions on the fire front. Today and the next couple of days the conditions will be calmer, but obviously with the fires still going that’s still a big challenge on the ground.”
The Rural Fire Service is predicting dire conditions for Saturday, with fears that fires in southern NSW and around Sydney may flare out of control.
“There is every potential that the conditions on Saturday will be as bad or worse than we saw yesterday,” Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers said. “The winds are expected to be very strong back 40 plus degree temperatures. We’ve got a lot of fires in the landscape we won’t contain.”
Deputy Commissioner Rogers flagged concerns about a blaze at Wollondilly, to Sydney’s south-west, which broke containment lines on Tuesday. “We are concerned about that fire because of its potential run into Western Sydney if that fire gets away on Saturday,” the deputy commissioner said. “We are quite concerned about that.”
There are also fears about the Werri Berri fire, south-west of Bega; the Badja Road fire, east of Cooma; the Dunns Road fire, to the west of Batlow; and the Green Valley fire around Jingellic.