More than 500 firefighters have been working in “very high temperatures” to tackle a wildfire which has threatened homes on the southwestern outskirts of Sydney.
As Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull said the situation was “worsening”, emergency warnings were placed in a number of suburbs along the Georges River.
Fire crews fought through the night as the flames burned about 1,000 hectares of bushland.
“This huge blaze has been fought in very high temperatures, very high winds, unseasonal conditions, and has been done so in a way which has seen, to date, no injuries and no serious damage to property,” Mr Turnbull said.
New South Wales police are investigating the cause of the fire.
Inspector Mitch Newtown told the AAP on Saturday night that “we believe it may have been a deliberately lit fire”.
“The situation is worsening,” Mr Turnbull added, “but there is outstanding efforts to control this fire being made.”
The blaze also burned through an the Holsworthy Army Barracks, ABC reported. The Department of Defence confirmed no buildings at the site were damaged and all non-essential personnel were evacuated.
Hundreds of people were evacuated from their homes on Saturday night, with the flames burning within metres of properties in Holsworthy and Wattle Grove.
Sydney is expected to see temperatures of up to 25C, but the New South Wales Rural Fire Service has downgraded the bushfire threat to an “watch and act” alert after winds eased.