Whilst obviously regretted, our Illawarra Gift Shoot has had to be cancelled today due to raging bush fires ripping through Sydney's Southwest region.
More than 600 fire fighters (many volunteers) were called upon as bush fires (believed to be started deliberately) ravaged through Holsworthy, Sandy Point, Alfords Point and threatening Barden Ridge to name but a few affected suburbs. The fires reached as far south as Menai knocking on the door of our beloved shooting range before our skilled fire fighters were able to bring these raging fires under some control late this afternoon.
The fires have been raging throughout Saturday and well into the night and showed little sign of abating propelled on by extreme weather conditions early Sunday morning that blew hot embers starting spot fires at random in the area.
After Heathcote Rd, was shutdown in both directions from New Illawarra Road up to the M5 near Holsworthy, it was agreed to postpone the Gift Shoot at this point until September 30, 2018. We apologise for any inconvenience and trust our shooters will understand the predicament we have faced today.
Lets us all give a very warm thanks to our Fire Crews and Emergency Services who have worked through the night and day under horrific weather conditions to bring these fires under control. Tonight, more than 35 fires continue to burn throughout NSW some still out of control. We are very thankful that our range has been spared today, however tomorrow is a new day and with high winds expected, more breakouts are possible as burning embers continue to spread starting spot fires.
The latest linescan taken 30 minutes ago shows that the fires remain very active in the Mill Creek area south west of Menai. The fire is burning in a southerly direction, heading towards Lucas Heights. Residents in the West Menai and Barden Ridge area will notice the significant glow of fire. Firefighters remain deployed in Alfords Point, Menai and Barden Ridge overnight. A Watch and Act remains in place. Embers may ignite new fires in these areas and residents should remain vigilant. Backburning operations is planned around some of the fireground subject to the weather. Heathcote Road remains closed for the foreseeable future between Lucas Heights and Holsworthy. The southern side of Georges River National Park remains closed and ANSTO Lucas Heights Precinct is restricted to essential staff only, on Monday 16 April
To all our fire fighters and emergency crews, work hard but take great caution in your stride we want you all to go home safe to your own families and we thank you for fighting for ours.
I would ask all members to spare a thought for our fire crews and emergency service crews who will continue to work fearlessly around the clock to bring these fires to an end.
On behalf of all members of Marconi Clay Target Club