Cooler conditions help firefighters as blaze burns out of control in Blue Mountains

A house is destroyed by fire on Cliff Drive at Katoomba. Photo: Channel Nine Firefighters try to save a house at Katoomba. Photo: Nine News/Top Notch Video

Bushfire destroys home

Firefighters in the Blue Mountains are being aided by cooler conditions as they continue to fight an out-of-control blaze that claimed one home on Saturday.

By Sunday morning the fire had receded from the top of an escarpment where it destroyed one home on Cliff Drive, about three kilometres from the centre of Katoomba.

The fire’s status was downgraded overnight and residents’ homes were not in immediate danger. They were being advised to monitor news and prepare for warnings from firefighters.

The fire has dropped to the floor of the Megalong Valley, where firefighters’ paths are blocked by thickets of gum trees.

The Rural Fire Service said aerial, water-bombing firefighting units would be supporting Sunday’s operations.

A number of firefighters continue to surround homes on Cliff Drive,

About 60 residents chose to voluntarily leave their homes on Saturday and spent the night in an evacuation centre.

Resident Patricia Houston said she felt more should have been done to protect the area around homes.

“If you look at the vegetation it’s been allowed to grow back, even when it was [burnt last year],” she said. “We’re still worried. It’s still so early in the morning.”

The fire has consumed about six hectares and is burning out of control.

But conditions on Sunday are better than Saturday’s hot and dry weather, which firefighters described as the worst in decades.

Firefighters were aided by cooler weather on Saturday night. It was about seven degrees in Katoomba at 8am.

Sunday’s forecast top for the Blue Mountains is 21 degrees, significantly lower than Sunday’s, but could drop even lower in the elevated area near the fire.

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