Sydney’s Royal National Park to remain closed as bushfire tears through 600 hectares

| 21.01,18. 06:39 PM |

Sydney’s Royal National Park to remain closed as bushfire tears through 600 hectares

THE Royal National Park south of Sydney will remain closed on Sunday after an out of control fire tore through bushland and forced hundreds of hikers and tourists to be rescued by boat.

The blaze that started on Saturday has burnt through more than 600 hectares, with firefighters working through the night to contain it.

The national park will remain closed with access only for residents. Scores of visitors to the Royal National Park were rescued by boat from beaches after becoming stranded, according to the RFS.

“There are a number of boats being utilised by surf lifesavers, NSW Police Force and some private citizens that are picking some people up from beaches in the area,” RFS spokesman James Morris told AAP during the drama. More than 100 firefighters battled the blaze on Saturday evening, supported by water bombers and aircraft.

A large blaze north of Tamworth, in the state’s north, threatened properties close to Bundarra while firefighters brought a fire under control near Taralga that had also endangered homes.

Both blazes have been downgraded to Watch and Act, the RFS said Sunday. NSW has endured hot, dry temperatures for several days, with Sunday expected to bring no relief.

Total fire bans have been declared for the Southern Ranges, Central Ranges, Greater Hunter and North Western regions on Sunday.

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