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ibusinesslines.com July 22, 2018


A Bushfire Still Burning in Sydney's West is Being Treated as Suspicious

16 April 2018, 10:50 | Kelvin Horton

A new bushfire warning has been issued in Sydney's southwest. Source AAP

A new bushfire warning has been issued in Sydney's southwest. Source AAP

A bushfire that has burned nearly 1,000 hectares in Sydney's south-west remains out of control but has been downgraded as conditions ease and crews begin back-burning operations.

The Transport Minister, Andrew Constance, has requested safety investigators conduct a review of a train service that ran close to bush fires in south-west Sydney on Saturday.

Firefighters have taken advantage of the conditions to do a back burn along Heathcote Road near Pleasure Point as well as in areas of the Holsworthy military base.

On Sunday, more than 500 firefighters in nearly 100 fire trucks, along with 15 aircraft, battled the blaze throughout the day.

The blaze was downgraded from emergency level to watch and act about 5.30pm on Sunday as conditions began to ease.

Once pristine bushland has been ravaged by the fires.

So far no homes have been lost though there has been some property damage, Mr Fitzsimmons said.

One Menai resident, Erin Stevens, left her home yesterday evening.

More than 500 firefighters faced walls of fire, fanned by 70 km/h wind gusts on the city's southern fringe on Sunday and through the night.


"It was pretty scary", he told AAP when finally opening a beer, thankful his house came with sprinklers on the roof.

Westerly winds are expected to pick up again on Monday afternoon but will not be as extreme as conditions at the weekend.

NSW Police have launched an investigation into the cause of the fire and are appealing for witnesses.

New South Wales RFS said the blaze was "highly suspicious", with Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons saying, "How dare anyone - if they are deliberately involved in lighting fires - endanger our firefighters and also [put] all these communities in harm's way".

Embers posed a serious threat to homes on Saturday night.

"Still quite a hard day ahead (on Monday)", he told Nine Network.

"We've got a lot of work ahead of us and some strong winds dominating the system today which are going to prove very problematic for the firefighters and all those people in and around this fire ground area", Commissioner Fitzsimmons said.

"Residents in the area of Sandy Point and Alfords Point should continue to monitor the conditions as they could change quickly", the RFS said in an alert at 6am.

The Transport Management Centre said Heathcote Road remained closed between New Illawarra Road and Macarthur Drive, and there was no forecast for when the road would be reopened.



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