NSW RFS: Defence Force explosives caused Lithgow bushfire

THE Rural Fire Service says explosives training by Defence personnel caused the State Mine Fire which has ripped through more than 47,000 hectares of the Blue Mountains in New South Wales.

The Defence Department has declined to respond, except to say it has been investigating whether the blaze started because of explosives training at the Marrangaroo Training Area, which backs on to state forest just north of Lithgow.

An RFS spokesman has now confirmed the fire started on the Defence range, and that explosive devices on the range sparked the blaze.

Local businesses have told the ABC a plume of smoke appeared over the Defence facility early afternoon last Wednesday, the day the fire started.

Some have reported hearing explosions after the fire began, and one local RFS member has told the ABC firefighters struggled to enter the site and fight the fire immediately, because of concerns about live shells.

Read more at the ABC.


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