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.
Yet another night of blanketing smoke ahead as #bushfire continues to burn through the #Holsworthy military reserve to west of #HeathcoteNSW #Sydney #NewSouthWales #NSW #Australia #wildfires pic.twitter.com/LLOMDUuqOn— Peter F Williams (@pfwaus) August 1, 2018
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."
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.
"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."
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.
Cannot breathe in Campbelltown, smoke haze is too thick— Mel L (@mel_laah) July 31, 2018
Where is the air quality alert for Campbelltown this morning? Thick smoke from the Holsworthy fire. Too bad is you have asthma.— Roy Marshall (@rmar1222) July 31, 2018
"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.