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Sydney bushfire still out of control and may have been deliberately lit
16 April 2018, 09:08 | Devin Moran
A local resident walks past firefighters as the fire burns
"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.
If a huge bushfire in Sydney's southwest on the weekend was deliberately lit, as authorities suspect, it's a "sickening and reprehensible" act of arson, the NSW Rural Fire Service commissioner says.
The RFS at 7am said the easing conditions had allowed firefighters to begin back burning along Heathcote Drive.
Conditions had improved Monday as winds eased, with firefighters working to slow the spread of the flames.
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. Several residents report fighting off embers with hoses and water buckets.
Many property owners stayed to protect their homes from spot fires - luckily no homes or lives were lost. Residents in these areas should shelter in place.
The Holsworthy fire - which has burned 1000 hectares - resulted in hundreds of people leaving their homes on Saturday evening with flames nearly reaching properties at Holsworthy and Wattle Grove and spot fires later threatening Sutherland and Menai.
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 watch-and-act to advice about 2am on Monday.
NSW RFS Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers said two giant aircraft, the DC10 Nancybird and the C130 Hercules "Thor" - normally used for aerial water bombing - were not available to help fight the Sydney fire.
"They do believe that temperature-wise and condition-wise, the worst part's behind them".
"There is a lot of work still to be done today and maybe into tonight before we can call the fire contained".
"We're certainly looking to maximise the amount of time we have them here".
2,500 Areain hectares around Holsworthy and Menai that was burned in the blaze, with other nearby areas also under threat.
NSW Police have declared the area a crime scene but the RFS says it's too early to declare if the blaze was deliberately lit.
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