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

16 April 2018

The NSW premier says it's a "miracle" that no lives or properties were lost when a bushfire raged through southwest Sydney overnight.

At one point, a munitions store at a Holsworthy military base was surrounded by the fire, but was successfully protected. 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.

The fire continues to burn in an easterly direction towards Barden Ridge, but the threat has been reduced.

The blaze was downgraded from emergency level to watch and act about 5.30pm on Sunday as conditions began to ease.

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

A firefighter battling the out-of-control grass fire burning in Sydney on Saturday.

RFS spokesman Greg Allan said some properties had not escaped unscathed.

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.

"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.

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Many residents in Menai chose to remain at their homes and were kept busy fighting ember attacks.

Fire investigators and police are working to establish how the fire was started.

"The good news is that the wind conditions will be easing, so we should see winds that are about half the speeds of what we had".

Some remembered bad bushfires in the 1990s when homes were destroyed, and were determined to stay and extinguish embers or spot fires as they broke out.

"Still quite a hard day ahead (on Monday)", he told the Nine Network.

Mr Fitzsimmons on Sunday morning stressed the fight wasn't over saying "there's still a long way to go this afternoon".

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.

The latest update from NSW RFS warned residents in Voyager Point, Pleasure Point, Sandy Point, Alfords Point, Barden Ridge, Illawong, Menai and Bangor to remain vigilant, as winds are expected to pick up throughout the day, which could increase the fire activity.

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