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Sydney bushfire: State of emergency declared

Sydney bushfire: State of emergency declared

"We had some very big fires here in 1994, we lost something like 20 homes", he said.

The New South Wales Rural Fire Service said 900 of its personnel were fighting 48 fires in southwest Sydney, near Holsworthy and Menai.

The NSW RFS has reduced the threat level to "Advice" as fire crews continue to battle the blaze.

Some remembered awful bushfires in the 1990s when homes were destroyed, and were determined to stay and extinguish embers or spot fires as they broke out.

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.

The fire is moving in a south-easterly direction through dense bushland.

"This huge blaze has been fought in very high temperatures, very high winds, unseasonal conditions, and has been done so in a way which has seen, to date, no injuries and no serious damage to property", Mr Turnbull said.

"We have had reports of impact on properties in west Menai and Barden Ridge but our crews at the moment are exclusively focused on fighting the fire", he told AAP in the evening.

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

The flames briefly shut a section of the T8 train line, while several roads remain closed.

Conditions on Monday are expected to help the firefighting effort but winds could pick up to 35km/h later in the day.

The temperature may remain a cause for concern, according to the RFS Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers.

"I think it's fair to say that it is highly suspicious, in the absence of any other cause like lightning", he said.

Authorities urge residents of Voyager Point, Pleasure Point, Sandy Point, Alfords Point, Barden Ridge, Illawong, Menai and Bangor to continually check for updated advice from the NSW Rural Fire Service, as conditions can change quickly.