Firefighters continued their efforts to contain the Tomaree Head fire on Thursday, two days after a blaze broke out on the seaside mountain causing it to look like a volcano.
A National Parks and Wildlife Service spokesman told the Examiner that its efforts were focused on containing the fire before looking into causes.
“We’ve had 16 National Parks crews working on containing the fire,” the spokesman said.
“It has been a challenge, as much of the fire is on ground that is steep and rugged.
“Our focus is on containing the fire, putting it out.
“Once the fire is contained then we will be looking into causes and investigating if needed.”
Witnesses described the Tomaree Head fire, which broke out on the western side of the mountain about 5.30pm on Tuesday, as an erupting volcano.
The flames could be seen bursting from the bush near the peak of the mountain, also known as Mount Tomaree.
The blaze spread quickly, but did not pose a threat to homes.
Shoal Bay resident Nigel Dique said he could not believe his eyes when he captured photographs of the blaze.
“Tomaree Head started looking like Mount Etna,” he said.
Up to four water bombing helicopters worked throughout Wednesday to douse the flames on Tomaree Head.
Conditions were easier on Thursday, the National Parks spokesman said. Firefighters and one helicopter worked on putting out the remaining hot spots on the fire ground.
The spokesman said once the fire was out, National Parks staff would assess the damage – to the bushland and to the popular walking trail that leads to the top of the mountain.
“We’re not aware of any impact on the trail,” the spokesman said.
“The important task is to put out the fire, then the visitor areas will be checked.”
According to the NSW Rural Fire Service, the fire has burned through five hectares of bushland. The fire is at ‘advice’ level.