Out Of Control Bush Fire Spreads Towards Nuclear Reactor In Sydney

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An out-of-control bushfire in Australia has spread across south-west Sydney and could be heading toward a nuclear reactor.

The bushfire has already burnt through 980 hectares of land and is still being spread by strong winds, as residents of Pleasure Point, Sandy Point, Illawong, Menai and Bangor are warned to take shelter.

Homeowners have been fighting the fires which threaten their homes, reports 9Today:

Residents in Alfords Point and Barden Ridge have also been advised to shelter in place as the fire approaches.

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

They have been updating the public via their social media accounts:

Greg Allan, a spokesman for NSW Rural Fire Service, told Daily Mail Australia:

We are advising residents in those suburbs to shelter in place, as it is now too late to leave. Embers can travel a strong distance.

I'd advise residents that if you see flames with no truck or firefighter there, call 000 immediately.

The blaze did approach the military barracks at Holsworthy, where chemicals and ammunition are stored. Spot fires had also broken out at the site but are said to be under control.

A spokesperson from the Department of Defence told Daily Mail Australia:

A fire approached the Holsworthy military area from the west. Non-essential personnel were evacuated from the base, and the fire was attended by Fire & Rescue NSW and the NSW Rural Fire Service.

The RFS have deployed nearly 900 firefighters, who are currently working hard across 48 bush and grass fires throughout New South Wales.

According to their official Twitter account, 500 of those crew members are working on the fire burning near Holsworthy and Menai.

They've also managed to save a few of Australia's favourite critters along the way in heroic efforts:

A spokesman for the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation in Lucas Heights said there is no current threat to the reactor, but safety measures had been taken.

The spokesperson stated:

ANSTO always works with local emergency services, and the Rural Fire Service has advised no risk to ANSTO as a result of the fires in the vicinity of our Lucas Heights campus.

ANSTO will continue to take the advice of emergency services throughout the evening. As a precautionary measure, the ANSTO Operations Centre has been activated, and is actively monitoring the situation. Non-essential staff have left the site.

ANSTO infrastructure including the OPAL reactor is protected by numerous fire safety systems, policies, plans and arrangements to ensure there is never any risk to operations or safety.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull praised the emergency response, saying:

It is unseasonably hot and that's a matter of obviously great concern, but we have to deal with the worst that Mother Nature can throw at us and the worse Australians are presented with by nature, the better it brings out the Australian spirit.

That's the spirit, Mr Turnbull. Let's hope everyone stay safe out there in those awful conditions.

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