Firefighters battle NSW blazes as investigation begins into Sydney fire


Firefighters continue to battle out of control blazes across NSW, while Sydney's Royal National Park remains closed after a suspicious fire.

Firefighters continue to battle two out of control blazes across NSW while investigations are underway into a suspicious fire which tore through bushland in the Royal National Park south of Sydney.

The Royal National Park will remain closed on Monday after a raging bushfire, which appears to have been deliberately lit on Saturday, forced hundreds of hikers and tourists to be rescued by boat.

Firefighters with the help of a large air tanker worked throughout Sunday to contain the fire which has burnt more than 1400 hectares of land.

The blaze continues to burn along Sir Bertram Stevens Drive between Garie Beach and Wattamolla Beach and is at advice level, the NSW Rural Fire Service said.

The fire is being treated as suspicious with an investigation underway, a NSW Police spokeswoman told AAP.

RFS Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers said it was lucky nobody was killed in the blaze and it's infuriating that someone could think of starting a fire on purpose.

"It is absolutely frustrating as I think the average person in the community finds it's just unbelievable that people would do that. Given there was more than one fire obviously we are concerned about how the fires started," he told the Seven Network.

Federal treasurer Scott Morrison, who lives in Sydney's south, paid tribute to the firefighters who worked throughout the weekend to bring the blaze under control.

"They're out there in what is a very hot day in Sydney fighting those fires, they would otherwise be at the beach be with their families, sitting around the pool, attending family events, doing all of those things that the rest of us may be doing today," Mr Morrison told reporters in Sydney on Sunday.

"They are out there putting themselves at risk to keep our community safe ... I want to thank them very much."

Further south in the Southern Tablelands, a bushfire has burnt more than 1100 hectares at Bannaby and is at watch and act level.

The fire has increased in activity and embers have created spot fires in the area, the RFS says.

A water bombing aircraft is helping firefighters to prepare and protect rural properties as the out of control fire continues to burn.

Firies are also paying close attention to a large bushfire at Dandry in the state's north that has already destroyed more than 51,000 hectares.

The blaze, which is burning in the Pilliga Forest between Coonabarabran and Narrabri and to the east of Baradine, is at a watch and act level.

NSW has endured hot, dry temperatures for several days, with Monday expected to bring no relief.

Total fire bans were declared for the Southern Ranges, Central Ranges, Greater Hunter and North Western regions on Sunday and will continue on Monday for the Southern Ranges, Central Ranges, Greater Hunter and Greater Sydney.

Source AAP - SBS

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