Firefighters gaining upper hand on property-threatening blaze
New South Wales firefighters are gaining the upper hand on an out-of-control bushfire that earlier threatened homes in north-west Sydney.
The blaze burning in the Devlin Road area of Castlereagh, near Penrith, is still moving towards the north-west, Tickner Street and Richards Road.
Emergency text messages were today sent to residents, telling them to take shelter in Castlereagh and Londonderry after fresh winds fanned the blaze in the Penrith area.
While properties on all three streets were under threat earlier today, the fire has since been downgraded to an 'Advice' warning level as firefighters continue to subdue the flames.
Despite that downgrade, residents are still on-alert for any possible flare-ups as firefighters work into the night to establish back burning containment lines and protect homes.
More than 100 rural firefighters joined ground crews throughout today to battle the blaze, assisted by water-bombing planes and helicopters in the air.
The Rural Fire Service had first declared that the fire was under control earlier today, shortly after a cold front swept through Sydney and ended a Spring heatwave.
While conditions are easing around the blaze tonight, authorities have warned that a combination of hot weather expected to come on Sunday and the dry, grassy environment could see the fire spark back up.
Sydney temperatures peaked in the low-30s today in the city before the cold front moved in.
The warm conditions came to an abrupt end as temperatures plummeted as much as 14C in one hour after lunchtime.
The cool change hit Sydney Airport at 12.30pm AEST, sending thermostat from a high of 34.7C just half an hour earlier to 19.8C by 1.30pm.