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2500 Hectares Burnt Houses Damaged As Sydney Fire Downgraded

Firefighters have confirmed that conditions are beginning to ease after they spent a second night battling the bushfires which have blackened 2500 hectares of land and damaged a number of properties in southwest Sydney.

Over 500 firies from the Rural Fire Service, Fire and Rescue NSW and personnel from the Australian Defence force have been working tirelessly to protect properties from the fire that began in Casula on Saturday afternoon and tore through Holsworthy and Menai.

However, unfortunately it has been confirmed that a number of properties were affected by the flames. Spokesman Greg Allan has said that at this point they haven’t been able to properly assess the damage.

“We have had reports of impact on properties in west Menai and Barden Ridge but our crews at the moment are solely focused on fighting the fire,” said Mr Allan to AAP.

After strong winds led to another difficult battle on Sunday, the blaze was eventually downgraded from emergency level to watch and act at around 5:30pm on Sunday afternoon.

Firefighters took advantage of the easing conditions to do some back burning along Heathcote Road near Pleasure Point and in areas near the Holsworthy military base.

A large number of firies also remain on the ground fighting the slow spread of the blaze that continues to burn in a southeasterly direction towards Barden Ridge.

Residents are being warned that conditions may change quickly and bushfire survival plans should be prepared, with the RFS saying that strong winds and soaring temperatures this afternoon could see the blaze spark up once again.

A NSW Police task force has now been set up to investigate the cause of the blaze, which officers currently suspect was deliberately lit.

Old Illawarra Road in Barden Ridge has no been opened while Heathcote Road between Macarthur Drive and New Illawarra Road remains closed.

More as we get it.

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