A massive bushfire has affected properties in Sydney’s south-west, New South Wales. The fire has burnt over 2,430 hectares around the townships Holsworthy and Menai. More than 500 firefighters in almost 100 fire trucks, along with 15 aircraft, have battled the blaze. The Rural Fire Service is looking to calmer weather Tuesday (17th) to bring the fires under control. The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) said winds had eased from 25 to 35 kilometres per hour down to 15 to 25kph today. (Monday)
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull addressed media at the Heathcote Fire Control Centre on Sunday afternoon, commending firefighters and volunteers for their “extraordinary courage and professionalism”. NSW RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said the unseasonal heat was sucking “the moisture out of the vegetation”, making it highly susceptible to ignition.
The blaze started on Saturday afternoon at Moorebank, police are investigating to try and find out how the fire was started.
Commissioner Fitzsimmons was concerned that this later fire season may become the norm and said the RFS would now have to look at resourcing during April. In particular the extension of large fire aircraft leases.