Third day of 2007 NSW fire season sees 46 fires burning

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The official New South Wales bushfire season for 2007 has been declared for only three days and already 46 fires burn across the state. It is believed that at least some of the fires have been deliberately lit.

Weather conditions are hampering firefighting efforts, with high temperatures and strong winds helping to fan the flames.

Major fires are currently burning at Little Pittwater Bay on Sydney's West Head, Cowan North of Sydney, Port Stephens and at Evans Head on the NSW North coast. The fire at Cowan has caused transport chaos as it caused the closure of the Pacific Highway, F3 Freeway and the Northern railway line for several hours this afternoon.

Residents around the fires at Port Stephens and Evans Head have been advised by the NSW Rural Fire Service to prepare their properties for the onset of fire.

With many of the fires thought to of been started by arsonists, NSW Premier Morris Iemma warned that arsonists would face imprisonment. "It makes you sick. There are sadly too many people out there that don't get the message," Mr Iemma.

"They are sick minds who deliberately light these fires, or even to recklessly do it".

A police strike force with 10 officers and two support staff to investigate the fires had also been set up with Mr Iemma stating that if more resources were required, the strike force would be provided with them.