Australia set to sizzle as temperatures likely to reach over 40 degrees

Australia could experience its hottest day on record this week as a severe heatwave in the country's west is set to make its way to the east of the country.

The current record of 50.7 degrees was set in January 1960 in the outback town of Oodnadatta in South Australia.

Temperatures have been high over the weekend in Western Australia.

Forecasters say the extreme heat is expected to affect the rest of the country in the coming week, with temperatures likely to exceed 40 degrees in many areas from Wednesday.

Australian firefighters are struggling with out of control bush fires as hot and dry weather continues.

Total fire bans are in place for parts of New South Wales with 100 bush fires currently burning.

Authorities have warned 40 degree heat and windy conditions forecast for next week will make it harder for crews to contain these.

Four hundred firefighters have also been working through the night to battle a bush fire north of Perth that's been threatening lives and homes since Wednesday.

There's also another emergency level blaze south of the Western Australian capital.

One fire is near Two Rocks, about 60km north of Perth.

The fire alert levels cover a 45km stretch of coast including the towns of Guilderton, Seabird and Woodridge.