Bushfire - Sydney and Region
In December 1979, New South Wales experienced its driest period since 1972. A heatwave combined with dry conditions caused the outbreak of fires in the first week of December. In the following weeks a number of incidents were reported in towns such as Duffys Forest, Lucas Heights, Terry Hills, Ingleside, Belrose, Elanora Heights, Lithgow, Mount Wilson, Mount Tomah and Grose Valley. A number of these fires were deliberately lit by arsonists.
The fires caused widespread damage to millions of hectares of land. Critical infrastructure including communication equipment, roads, property fencing and railways were damaged or destroyed. Twenty-eight homes were destroyed, 20 homes were damaged. Five deaths were attributed to the fires.