Australian heatwave causing roads to melt in outback town

SYDNEY — The Australian outback township of Bourke in New South Wales state is on track to break the state’s record for 22 consecutive days above 40 degrees Celsius as the country’s scorching heatwave continues Friday.

A build-up of a hot air mass has been stuck over central and Western Australia with not enough cold air coming from the south to move the heat around, sending the mercury soaring to 46 degrees in Bourke.

“The Bitumen roads melt. It doesn’t run or anything, but if you’re wearing thongs it gets really tacky and sticks to the bottom of them,” a resident told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

The state’s hottest recorded temperature of 49.7 degrees was also registered at Bourke in 1903.

The community of Wilcannia, 300 km south west of Bourke, will experience the state’s highest temperature Friday at 47 degrees.

Australia’s extreme conditions continue across the rest of the state with parts of Sydney expected to reach 42 degrees.

Total fire bans remain in effect across New South Wales and other states after a large grass fire shut down a major expressway 200 km north of Sydney on Wednesday. PNA/