News, Culture & Society

Cecil Hills fire started by fireworks

Terrifying bushfire that saw Sydney residents fighting to defend their homes with hoses and buckets on New Year’s Eve was started by kids setting off illegal FIREWORKS

  • Illegal fireworks caused out-of-control grass fire in Cecil Hills, western Sydney
  • Residents fought to defend their homes alongside fire crews for two hours
  • Local children are believed to be responsible for the blaze in the early hours 

Residents in western Sydney spent the early hours of 2020 defending their homes from a grassfire believed to be started by teenagers setting off illegal fireworks.

Video shows the grass fire burning metres from homes in Cecil Hills as locals tackled the blaze with hoses and buckets of water just after midnight on New Year’s Eve.

Families who were enjoying views of sanctioned firework displays across the Sydney skyline from on top of Pye Hill heard the fireworks going off in the reserve behind them and saw the bone-dry grassland catch fire. 

Within seconds, the fire had taken hold and and was burning out of control. 

Damage caused by the fire that almost destroyed homes before a lucky change in wind

Fire crews and residents spent more than two hours containing the fire which, as one aerial image of the aftermath shows, came terrifyingly close to destroying their homes. 

The picture showed a large section of burnt-out grass which would have reached the homes just a few metres away if it wasn’t for a quick change in wind direction that sent the flames back up the hill.  

A total fire ban was declared for 11 parts of New South Wales on Tuesday including Greater Sydney, The ACT, The Hunter and Illawarra regions.

Anyone setting off fireworks faces an on-the-spot fine of $2,200 and could face 12 months in jail if taken to court.  

Tossing lit cigarette butts also face fines of $1,320.

Police are investigating the Cecil Hills fire but so far no arrests have been made.

An out of control fire described by onlookers as a 'ring of fire' burns in Cecil Hills

Police are investigating the illegal fireworks believed to be set off by local teenagers

Illegal fireworks set off by youngsters ignited a huge blaze within seconds and took two hours to contain