Anxious Sydney residents hope for best as bushfire threat eases

Sergio Conner
April 16, 2018

The fire has been burning out of control since Saturday afternoon, and was downgraded to "advice" early on Monday as firefighters took advantage of easing conditions.

The RFS is now 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".

The fire tore trough Holsworthy military range, and while approaching suburban areas, has been staved off.

On Sunday morning, authorities had downgraded warnings to a watch and act status.

The bushfire on Sydney's outskirts, which has been burning since Saturday, has so far burnt through more than 2400 hectares.

RFS spokesman Greg Allan said powerful wind gusts on Sunday created challenging conditions for firefighters, but the forecast for today was a definite improvement.

"We have had reports of impact on properties in west Menai and Barden Ridge but our crews at the moment are exclusively focused on fighting the fire, " Allan said Sunday evening.

Many residents in Menai chose to remain at their homes and were kept busy fighting ember attacks.

Daniel Borg, who lives on Hall Drive in Menai alongside bushland, admitted it was concerning to see how close the flames came.

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More than 500 firefighters were on the ground battling the blaze with 15 firefighting and reconnaissance aircraft joining the operation.

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

NSW Police have set up "Strike Force Carpi" with specialist forensic officers establishing a crime scene in Casula to investigate once circumstances allow.

Some remembered bad bushfires in the 1990s when homes were destroyed, and were determined to stay and extinguish embers or spot fires as they broke out.

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

"I think it's fair to say that it is highly suspicious, in the absence of any other cause like lightning", he said.

Residents in Voyager Point, Pleasure Point, Sandy Point, Alfords Point, Barden Ridge, Illawong, Menai and Bangor were told to be prepared to activate their bushfire survival plans should conditions change.

Heathcote Road remains closed on Monday in both directions from Lucas Heights to Holsworthy.

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