Violent bushfire burns through Southwest Sydney
A volatile bushfire has burnt 2,500 hectares and damaged properties in Southwest Sydney, reported Australia's Rural Fire Service (RFS). Menai and Barden Ridge are among the worst affected regions. The RFS said it was too early to assess the kind and the extent of the destruction, but as of Sunday afternoon, 500 firefighters and 15 aircraft had been deployed to mitigate the crisis.
Though no damage to property or serious human injury has been confirmed as yet, the homes in nearby forest areas are at high risk of being destroyed by burning embers. The bushfire, which RFS commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons described as "volatile, dynamic, and dangerous", had already engulfed the Holsworthy military range located in Sydney's Southwest by Sunday afternoon, reported The Guardian.
Meanwhile, the RFS issued a new emergency warning in the areas near the fire just after midday, advising residents to shelter in a place, saying it was too late to leave the area. The locals were also informed of embers sparking new fires and increased fire activity because of strong winds especially at Voyager Point, Pleasure Point and Sandy Point.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull thanked the firefighters for their bravery and hard work. "This huge blaze has been fought in very high temperatures and winds, unseasonable conditions, and has been done so in a way that has seen, to date, no injuries and no serious damage to property has been a great achievement," he said.