Firefighters rush to contain Helensburgh blaze before windy conditions hit Illawarra

Picture: Helensburgh RFS
Picture: Helensburgh RFS

Firefighters are trying to desperately “mop up” the scene of a suspicious bushfire at Helensburgh before hot afternoon winds hit the Illawarra.

A burnt out car is believed to have sparked the blaze off the Hacking River Fire Trail near Helensburgh tip, just before 7am on Wednesday.

Rural Fire Service spokesman Matt Reeves said the exact cause of the fire was still under investigation.

“Our biggest concern at the moment is making sure the fire is properly mopped up and patrolled as the temperature increases and the winds increase and the humidity drops during the day,” he said.

“Conditions aren’t too bad on the fire grounds at the moment but under the forecast conditions expected during the day there’s the potential for small embers to escape and reignite and it could become a bigger issue.”

The blaze burnt four hectares of bush. Mr Reeves said this could have been much worse had a passer by not called triple zero.

A total fire ban has been declared for the Illawarra with rising temperatures and windy weather forecast for the region.

At 11am there were six RFS crews at Helensburgh and were expected to be there for most of the day.