Fire authorities are still trying to manage an out-of-control bushfire that started in the Holsworthy area, around 31 kilometres southwest of Sydney’s CBD, on Saturday afternoon. The fire, which has already blackened 2,430 hectares, is currently burning in a south-easterly direction towards Barden Ridge.
Conditions eased late last night, but predicted high winds on Monday afternoon could cause trouble for hundreds of firefighters still attempting to slow its spread on the ground.
At present, the fire threat has been reduced to “advice” level, with residents of Voyager Point, Pleasure Point, Sandy Point, Alfords Point, Barden Ridge, Illawong, Menai and Bangor warned to remain vigilant and monitor changing conditions.
Advice - Moorebank Av Holsworthy fire. Fire still burning towards Barden Ridge. Winds forecast to strengthen today, which may increase fire activity. Conditions may change quickly. Stay informed via the NSW RFS website. Linescan shows activity at 530am.https://t.co/WeSkQSYWdG pic.twitter.com/GakvNKE60O— NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) 15 April 2018
Firefighters worked through the night to backburn areas around Heathcote Road near Pleasure Point, as well as the Holsworthy military base.
“We went from more than 500 firefighters yesterday and into last night, and we are now down to just 250 firefighters, but if we need to, that will scale up,” NSW Rural Fire Service commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons told reporters on Monday.
Fire and Rescue NSW commissioner Paul Baxter said it was “remarkable” there had been no major loss of property, and said community co-operation with authorities had been invaluable. “There is still potential there, but through the hard work of those people, we are looking at a really successful outcome,” he said told the media. No lives have been lost.
Heathcote Road remains closed to motorists between Macarthur Drive and New Illawarra Road. St George Crescent remains closed to traffic, restricting access to Sandy Point. Old Illawarra Road at Barden Ridge is still open.
A community information point has been set up at Sandy Point boat ramp to provide locals with information.
Police are currently investigating the source of the fire, which is being treated as “suspicious”. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Crime Stoppers.
Final assessment of all Moorebank Ave fire affected suburban areas reveals 888 homes saved, 5 homes damaged and zero homes lost. Six facilities saved and 1 outbuilding destroyed. Thanks again to emergency services and residents for their tireless efforts #NSWRFS @FRNSW #nswfires pic.twitter.com/stYYGXClXY— NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) April 19, 2018