Sydney bushfire still out of control and may have been deliberately lit

Nellie Chapman
April 16, 2018

"We believe it might have been a deliberately lit fire", Inspector Mitch Newtown said on Saturday night.

According to a Fire and Rescue NSW official Twitter account statement: "Moorebank Avenue, #Holsworthy Fire: Due to easing (wind) conditions the fire has been downgraded to Watch & Act".

The NSW RFS has reduced the threat level to "Advice" as fire crews continue to battle the blaze.

Many property owners stayed to protect their homes from spot fires - luckily no homes or lives were lost.

Over the weekend the blaze was declared an emergency a number of times but was downgraded to watch and act when winds dropped down to around 15 to 25 kilometres per hour.

"Firefighters are in these areas and are ready to undertake property protection if required".

"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", he told AAP.

Aerial footage showed the flames leaping through a forested area, with thick smoke blanketing nearby suburbs and a suburban street at a near standstill as motorists tried to leave.

The fire is moving in a south-easterly direction through dense bushland.

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RFS spokesman Greg Allan said on Sunday some properties had been damaged.

"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", he told AAP in the evening.

Police have established a strike force to investigate the cause of the fire, which they are treating as suspicious.

Conditions on Monday are expected to help the firefighting effort but winds could pick up to 35km/h later in the day.

Embers posed a serious threat to homes on Saturday night.

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.

"I think we've got a long way to go before we're out of the woods".

"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.

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