Wildfires burned in parts of Australia's densely-populated southeast on Saturday, although weather officials expected falling temperatures to bring relief for Sydney by early afternoon.
One fire in eastern Victoria, the second most populous state, prompted fire authorities to issue a watch and act warning for residents in 14 different towns.
The fire near Rosedale, about 200 km (124 miles) east of Melbourne, had burnt more than 10,000 hectares (25,000 acres) and sudden wind changes on Friday created risky conditions for roughly 40 firefighters, an emergency official said.
"They found themselves in a very serious situation and they were shaken," Andrew Crisp, the state's emergency management commissioner, told reporters on Saturday.
The origin of the Rosedale fire and another in Victoria were being treated as suspicious, with police and fire authorities investigating their cause, he added.