|Source: Courier Mail|
... and that 40°C = 104°F, while 50°C = 122°F
Official temperature readings are taken 1.5 meters (5 feet) above the surface. From my experience in Tucson (and from the literature), I know that in dry, still air this means that the surface temperature can be MUCH hotter.
It is also useful when reading the story, of course, to remember that Australia is about to pass from late spring into summer. Records being broken now are very likely to be exceeded in January or February. As has been widely reported, smoke and fire are already serious problems.