Fires continue to burn in Sydney's far west
IN SYDNEY'S far west, where four major fires continue to burn, Rebecca Kingswell and her family were preparing for another sleepless night.
Their Bligh Park home, where the 21-year-old was raised with her twin sister Liana, was under threat from an out-of-control blaze burning at nearby Londonderry Rd.
The Kingswells were among thousands of families who received text messages from the NSW Rural Fire Service, warning them to be ready for evacuation.
By the time they got back from work, the sky above their estate was black and a wall of flames was edging the reserve at the end of their street.
A friend on Londonderry Rd told them they had lost their dog and were leaving their home.
Road closures left Liana trapped with friends at Richmond, but Rebecca and her parents, Janice and Michael, prepared to leave with pet cat, Cassie.
"We started to pack when we saw the flames above the houses...that's when I got scared," Ms Kingswell said
"We drove around and everyone was just standing on their roof."
The four fires, burning near Penrith and in the Blue Mountains, were fuelled by hot winds.
On Wednesday, cooler temperatures helped fire-fighters strengthen containment lines.
Evacuations had been put on hold by night time and all four fires had been downgraded to "watch and act" status.
Ms Kingswell said the car would remain packed and the family would continue to monitor the rural fire service website.
"Four fire trucks just went past the house...I don't know what's going on," she said
"I have seen the trucks going around and checking the bush...it must have started again."
Since Monday, more than 1800ha of land has been burnt.
More than 1200 fire-fighters and 350 trucks are battling the blazes.
Live updates can be found at http://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au and on the NSW Rural Fire Service Facebook page.