Massive Sydney bush fire closing in on Lucas Heights nuclear reactor

A firefighter pulls a hose as an out-of-control grass fire burns at Holsworthy in Sydney Saturday

Southwest Sydney residents have endured a second nervous night as hundreds of firefighters took advantage of easing conditions to battle a blaze that's so far blackened 2500 hectares.

The fire - which has burned 1000 hectares - resulted in hundreds of people leaving their homes on Saturday evening with flames nearly reaching properties at Holsworthy and Wattle Grove and spot fires later threatening Sutherland and Menai.

The NSW Rural Fire Service has downgraded the threat level to "Advice", but urged residents to remain vigilant and to continue monitoring conditions.

According to a Fire and Rescue NSW official Twitter account statement: "Moorebank Avenue, #Holsworthy Fire: Due to easing (wind) conditions the fire has been downgraded to Watch & Act".

The fire, which began on Saturday afternoon and may have been deliberately lit, was fanned by strong winds on Sunday and approached suburban streets.

RFS spokesman Greg Allan said some properties had not escaped unscathed.

"Residents in Illawong, Bangor and Picnic Point are experiencing ember attack and should continue to monitor for any new spot fires in the affected areas".

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Many residents in Menai chose to remain at their homes and were kept busy fighting ember attacks.

Morrison said there were still about 100 firefighters responding to the inferno, which they were finally bringing under control.

The fire had threatened homes in south-west Sydney on Saturday.

NSW RFS Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers said two giant aircraft, the DC10 Nancybird and the C130 Hercules "Thor" - normally used for aerial water bombing - were not available to help fight the Sydney fire.

Reports say the unseasonably hot weather of the last few weeks is partly to blame, though police are also investigating what started the blaze and are appealing for witnesses.

"They do believe that temperature-wise and condition-wise, the worst part's behind them".

"I think we've got a long way to go before we're out of the woods".

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