Raging bushfire traps residents in their homes on the outskirts of Sydney


Residents in Sydney's south-west are breathing a sigh of relief after a severe bushfire that has burnt more than 2,400 hectares eased overnight.

"It is still an active fire ground but we are not seeing the sort of weather extremes, particularly with the wind that we saw yesterday", Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons told reporters in Sydney on Monday.

The New South Wales Rural Fire Service (RFS) said it was concerned that flying embers could spark new blazes ahead of the advancing fire front.

The fire was downgraded from "emergency level" to "watch and act" on 5.30pm Sunday, then again downgraded to "advice" around 2am Monday.

Over the weekend the blaze was declared an emergency a number of times but was downgraded to watch and act when winds dropped down to around 15 to 25 kilometres per hour.

Firefighters have taken advantage of the conditions to do a back burn along Heathcote Road near Pleasure Point as well as in areas of the Holsworthy military base.

Once pristine bushland has been ravaged by the fires.

RFS spokesperson Greg Allan told the AAP that it's believed that believed that some houses have been damaged.

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Many residents in Menai chose to remain at their homes and were kept busy fighting ember attacks.

"How dare anyone in society think they can deliberately light a fire, endanger all these men and women - the vast majority who are volunteers - putting their lives on the line to try and bring these fires under control and, in turn, put so many members of the community (at risk)", the commissioner said.

NSW Police have set up "Strike Force Carpi" with specialist forensic officers establishing a crime scene in Casula to investigate once circumstances allow.

Conditions are expected to aid the firefighting effort on Monday, with winds about half the strength they were on Sunday.

Embers posed a serious threat to homes on Saturday night.

"Still quite a hard day ahead (on Monday)", Rogers told the Nine Network.

Residents in Sandy Point, Pleasure Point, Voyager Point, Alfords Point, Barden Ridge, Illawong, Menai and Bangor are still advised to keep a close eye on the situation and activate their bushfire survival plans if conditions change.

Heathcote Road remains closed between Macarthur Drive and New Illawarra Road while Old Illawarra Road at Barden Ridge has reopened.