Foul play suspected in bushfire threatening Sydney houses

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

Sydney bushfire: Residents breathe a sigh of relief as disaster averted for a second night

New South Wales fire crews spent a second long night taking advantage of cooler conditions to back burn and protect homes in the Holsworthy area.

Authorities urge residents of Voyager Point, Pleasure Point, Sandy Point, Alfords Point, Barden Ridge, Illawong, Menai and Bangor to continually check for updated advice from the NSW Rural Fire Service, as conditions can change quickly.

"It is still an active fire ground but we are not seeing the sort of weather extremes, particularly with the wind that we saw yesterday", Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons told reporters in Sydney on Monday.

RFS spokesman Greg Allan said powerful wind gusts on Sunday created challenging conditions for firefighters, but the forecast for today was a definite improvement. Several residents report fighting off embers with hoses and water buckets.

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.

It's now burnt through more than 2400 hectares of land and come dangerously close to homes.

"So I'm sure everyone's been out checking their roof, making sure everything's wetted down and keep an eye on those spot fires".

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The fire resulted in hundreds of people being evacuated from 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.

Conditions are expected to aid the firefighting effort on Monday, with winds about half the strength they were on Sunday.

"As we say all the time, no one tolerates this in the community".

In a statement, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull praised the emergency response and said, "It is unseasonably hot and that's a matter of obviously great concern, but we have to deal with the worst that Mother Nature can throw at us and the worse Australians are presented with by nature, the better it brings out the Australian spirit".

Fire investigators are working with NSW Police's Strikeforce Carpi to determine the cause of the blaze which started on Saturday at Casula and is being treated as suspicious.

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