More than 250 firefighters continue to battle bushfires in NSW’s southwest, which has spread more than 2,400 hectares since Saturday afternoon.
The blaze, which is believed to have originated in the vicinity of Casula, was fanned further by strong winds on Sunday.
More than 500 firefighters from the Rural Fire Service, Fire & Rescue NSW and the Australian Defence Force attempted to contain the blaze over the weekend with help from volunteers and 11 water-bombing helicopters.
Moorebank Avenue, #Holsworthy Fire: Footage of #NSWRFS crews fighting the fire at Menai taken at about 2:30pm. There are currently more than 500 firefighters in almost 100 fire trucks fighting the fire, assisted by 15 aircraft. #nswfires pic.twitter.com/ULbkFg2nnB
— NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) April 15, 2018
The fire tore trough Holsworthy military range, and while approaching suburban areas, has been staved off. Several residents report fighting off embers with hoses and water buckets.
The fire was downgraded from “emergency level” to “watch and act” on 5.30pm Sunday, then again downgraded to “advice” around 2am Monday.
Some scary footage from my friend directly affected by the bushfire burning out of control in the Sutherland Shire. Stay safe everyone. pic.twitter.com/3mcf0OC8Zl
— Ben Michel (@BenMichel14) April 15, 2018
While lower wind conditions are expected to help with containing the fire, RFS Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers warned that the high temperatures remain an issue.
“Still quite a difficult day ahead (on Monday),” Rogers told the Nine Network. “I think we’ve got a long way to go before we’re out of the woods.”
There’s also a risk that winds could also pick up to 35km/h later today.
The RFS is currently advising residents in Pleasure Point, Sandy Point, Alfords Point, Barden Ridge, Voyager Point, Illawong, Menai & Bangor to “remain vigilant throughout the day and keep themselves up to date by checking the NSW RFS website“.
— Nabil Mohsin (@NabilMohsin2) April 14, 2018
RFS spokesperson Greg Allan told the AAP that it’s believed that believed that some houses have been damaged.
“We have had reports of impact on properties in west Menai and Barden Ridge but our crews at the moment are solely focused on fighting the fire,” Allan said Sunday evening.
No lives are believed to have been lost in the fire, which Berejiklian has called a “miracle”.
A NSW Police investigation is underway into the cause of the fire, as it may have been potentially lit. Talking to press on Sunday, NSW Premier Gladis Berejiklian has called the potential act “absolutely unforgivable“.
For latest updates on road closures and safety, stay tuned to the RFS site. The RFS also advise that if you are eager to donate, there is no need for food/water, but monetary donations are helpful.
Source: The Australian
Image credit: AAP/Brendan Esposito