Schools have been forced to keep children indoors due to thick smoke from an uncontrolled bushfire. Picture: Twitter/@JohnnyEuphoric
Schools have been forced to keep children indoors due to thick smoke from an uncontrolled bushfire. Picture: Twitter/@JohnnyEuphoric

Sydney cloaked in smoky haze from Holsworthy bushfire

AN uncontrolled fire that broke out at Holsworthy Military Camp on Wednesday morning is reportedly under control, but NSW Rural Fire Services said south westerly winds had forced the smoke through Sutherland and the Sydney CBD last night.

A north easterly wind on Thursday could see the hazy conditions push towards south west Sydney and the Southern Highlands.

Smoke from the bushfire shrouded Campbelltown with thick smoke forcing schoolchildren inside on Wednesday.

By Wednesday night, the smoke and haze had reached the CBD.

The 2700 hectare bushfire, burning between Kentlyn and the Dharawal National Park near Appin, with around 20 Rural Fire Service firefighters on scene working to contain the blaze as smoke continues to pour over the Kentlyn, Ruse and Bradbury areas affecting nearby schools.

St Thomas More Catholic Parish Primary School in Bradbury was one of the schools affected by smoke this morning, with Principal Phil Barrington saying it was a "common sense" measure in keeping children safe.

"All we've done is kept the children indoors until the smoke cleared, which it did at about 10.30am," Mr Barrington said.

"As soon as the parents dropped them off we took them straight into class.

"I do know of one or two parents who have kept their children at home because they have breathing difficulties."

 

Around 20 Rural Fire Service firefighters on scene working to contain the blaze. Picture: Twitter/@JohnnyEuphoric
Around 20 Rural Fire Service firefighters on scene working to contain the blaze. Picture: Twitter/@JohnnyEuphoric

NSW Rural Fire Service Inspector Ben Shephard said the morning smog was a product of a drop in overnight temperatures which "holds the smoke down" until the temperature warms up at which time it begins to dissipate.

A smoky haze sits above parts of Leumeah on Wednesday morning. Picture: Twitter/@JohnnyEuphoric
A smoky haze sits above parts of Leumeah on Wednesday morning. Picture: Twitter/@JohnnyEuphoric

"The overnight temperatures have been quite cold and that forms a temperature inversion which holds the smoke down until it warms up and then the winds increase again," he said.

"The problem with fighting this fire from the get-go is the inability to go in and tackle the fire head on because of the possibility of unexploded ordnance on the military reserve - those shells aren't always exploded."

Schools have been forced to keep children indoors due to thick smoke from an uncontrolled bushfire. Picture: Twitter/@JohnnyEuphoric
Schools have been forced to keep children indoors due to thick smoke from an uncontrolled bushfire. Picture: Twitter/@JohnnyEuphoric

The RFS have had to retreat to safe main roads to surround the fire and are assessing the feasibility using aerial incendiaries on the large fire ground to stamp out the fire.

"This is likely to produce more smoke but it will also reduce that fire ground," Mr Shephard said.

Campbelltown residents took to Twitter to share images of the smoke spreading throughout the city.

"Where is the air quality alert for Campbelltown this morning?" Roy Marshall wrote.

"Thick smoke from the Holsworthy fire. Too bad if you have asthma."

"Proper smoky this morning," a man named Johnny tweeted.

"The house is full of it. So thick you can taste it. Probably safer not to breathe today.

A number of hazard reduction burns are being conducted in suitable areas but forecast westerly winds are expected to push smoke east into areas around Sutherland and the Illawarra today.

The Rural Fire Service has advised commuters travelling through the region to slow down when driving through smoky areas and to keep the windows up and headlights on.

Locals are also advised to limit outdoor activities, keep asthma medication on hand, and ensure that are windows closed and that pets have a protected area.



Welcome grant makes smooth entrance

premium_icon Welcome grant makes smooth entrance

With an eye-catching showground it’s no wonder the little things get missed

Local cancer treatment returns ‘excellent’ results: report

premium_icon Local cancer treatment returns ‘excellent’ results: report

Local patients experiencing ‘excellent’ results, fewer side effects.

Everything you need to know about the new border pass

premium_icon Everything you need to know about the new border pass

Here is everything you need to know about entering Queensland