Grass fire forces closure of Hume Highway in NSW in both directions, as temperatures reach 40 degrees

The east coast of Australia is sweltering through a spring heat wave, with parts of New South Wales reaching 40 degrees and more than 75 bushfires burning across the state and Queensland.

The Bureau of Meteorology said Wilcannia in the far west of NSW reached 40.5 degrees about 3pm, a September record for the state.

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