RFS confirms an army artillery exercise started Lithgow fire

RFS confirms an army artillery exercise started Lithgow fire

The NSW Rural Fire Service says the huge bushfire burning at Lithgow in the Blue Mountains, was causes by artillery training by the Defence Force last week.

As weather condition have eased overnight, all emergency alerts for bushfires across the state have been downgraded, but Watch and Act alerts remain in place for Lithgow, Mt Victoria, Springwood, and Balmoral in the Southern Highlands.

RFS investigators say they have found the Lithgow fire, which has burnt through 48,000 hectares and destroyed three homes, was started by a defence force artillery exercise, but Defence is yet to accept this finding.

Mayor of the Blue Mountains, Mark Greenhill, says while there is no use palcing blame, its important for the Defence Force to admit its mistake, to ensure such an incident is never repeated.

Meanwhile, RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons has defended the strong wording of the RFS’s warnings yesterday, saying he would much rather be copping criticism today than facing potential fatalities or loss of homes.

He says there is no direct threat to people or homes at the current time, but conditions could change and everyone needs to remain vigilant.

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Libby Dreyer
Libby Dreyer 1729 posts

Libby has worked as a Senior Journalist at National Radio News since February 2011. She graduated with a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Canberra in December 2010.

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