19/09/11 - Blue Mountains fires

Published: 19th September 2011

Monday 19 September may have provided a preview of what we can expect over this coming bush fire period.

Weather conditions were conducive to the rapid spread of fire with high winds and high temperatures throughout the Blue Mountains. The first sign of a problem occurred just before 2.00pm when Katoomba fire crews were called to two separate fires which appeared to have been deliberately lit in the vicinity of Wilson Drive and Magdala Parade at Katoomba. Firefighters from both FRNSW and the RFS were able to successfully extinguish the fires under very windy conditions. The main rail line was closed for a short period during the incident.

Later that same afternoon crews were called to more outbreaks of fire in the vicinity of Olympian Parade at Leura. These fires were to become a major threat to numerous houses in the area and took hundreds of firefighters from both FRNSW and the RFS two days to extinguish. Local Community Fire Units were activated and several helicopters were also called in to provide aerial support.

Despite the harsh fire weather conditions and inaccessible locations, the fires were finally contained with no reports of any significant property loss or damage. Police and fire investigators are conducting extensive investigations into these fires.