A bright orange sun and an eerie haze greeted Illawarra residents as they ventured outside over the weekend.
Smoke blown in from the bushfire burning near the Southern Highlands hung low in the streets, filling the air with the smell of burning trees and blurring the horizon from view.
An RFS spokeswoman said much of the haze blanketing the region could be attributed to the backburning efforts of firefighters trying to strengthen containment lines around the blazes.
‘‘It’s a bit of both, there was backburns on most of the fires overnight so there is a reasonable amount of smoke haze in the Sydney Basin and north and south, combined with the smoke from the main fires themselves.’’
She said weather conditions had kept the smoke trapped closed to the ground.
A north-easterly wind later this afternoon should clear some of the smoke.
Firefighters continued to backburn yesterday.