By Adam Mccleery For Daily Mail Australia
Published: 00:47 GMT, 22 December 2019 | Updated: 07:32 GMT, 22 December 2019
A devastating ‘megafire’ tearing through the Blue Mountains has been filmed climbing up 200metre cliffs in the Grose Valley.
Blackheath local Kobe Byrant, 24, shared the terrifying footage to Facebook on Sunday through his account ‘Blue Mountains Explore’.
The clip, taken just before a southerly wind hit at 5pm on Saturday, creates the illusion of a ‘lava waterfall’ as vegetation on the cliff catches alight.
The blaze is part of a 10,000hectare fire burning out of control at the Grose River, growing out of the 460,000ha Gospers Mountains megablaze.
Dozens of homes have been lost in the giant bushfire, which is six time the size of Singapore, while in the New South Wales South Highlands the town of Balmoral has been all but wiped out.
In South Australia more than 70 homes have been destroyed and at least one person killed in a 25,000ha blaze in the Adelaide Hills.
Horrific footage (pictured) from the Blue Mountains shows a wall of fire down a mountain face as wild fires continue to ravage inland New South Wales
The 450,000-hectare Gospers Mountain ‘megafire’ (pictured), north of the Grose River fire, is thought to have destroyed at least 20 homes
Mr Bryant told 9 News the valley had been totally destroyed by the blaze.
‘The Grose Valley has just been decimated, Hat Hill was evacuated at 3:00am this morning, and Kanimbla Valley is now burning on two sides,’ he said.
‘It’s not looking like it’s going to abate…We’re just hoping the bush can regenerate, and businesses can recover.’
Mr Bryant said he saw ‘desperation, fear and anxiety’ on people’s faces in his community.
‘We’re used to sirens going off, but when it’s on your doorstep and it’s been going on for weeks you get tired. The mountains are like a ghost town at the moment.’
The dramatic footage shocked hundreds of people on social media.
‘Have you ever seen anything like this? This is horrific,’ one wrote. ‘It’s like a waterfall of fire,’ another added.
Blackheath local Kobe Byrant, 24, filmed the ‘lava waterfall’ at the Blue Mountains. He said the fires had turned his community into a ‘ghost town’
Firefighters are hoping a week of cooler conditions forecast will help them get on top of the fires (firefighters battle a blaze on a property near Gospers Mountain)
Intense weather conditions propelled a mega-blaze covering 460,000 hectares from Gospers Mountain through to the Blue Mountains on Saturday night.
The blaze is thought to have destroyed at least 20 homes and is still listed at emergency level.
RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said much of the fire ground, including Bilpin, still needed to be on high alert into Sunday as a southerly change blew through the region north-west of Sydney.
‘Temperatures will drop but the humidity will rise. The vegetation, the landscape is so dry we are still seeing pretty significant fire behaviour and that is going to continue,’ he said.
In a stark warning that the crisis could last months, he added: ‘We will not get on top of these fires until we get some decent rain’.
With forecasts predicting close to a week of cooler conditions across NSW, Mr Fitzsimmons said his crews would do their best to get on top of the fires before tougher conditions return later in the week or next weekend.
‘Our big focus is on trying to consolidate and establish containment lines across as many fire grounds as we can. We have significant fire spread south of the Bells Line of Road and through the valley system such as the Grose Valley in the Blue Mountains,’ Mr Fitzsimmons told reporters.
‘So we will be looking at what are the options, what are the fall-back lines and at what point do we start implementing very significant strategies to secure protection for an impending threat to the Blue Mountains, particularly the communities along the Great Western Highway.’
More than 20 homes are feared lost in the Blue Mountains after the blaze tore through on Saturday night, fuelled by intense weather conditions. Pictured: Tutti Fruitti Fruit Shop
Devastating new photographs show Saturday night’s carnage as a mega-blaze covering 460,000 hectares spread from Gospers Mountain through to the Blue Mountains, destroying an estimated 20 homes (the Tutti Fruitti shop in Gospers Mountain destroyed by fire)
Firefighters worked together to pump a hose through a homeowner’s backyard as the vicious fire approached on Saturday
NSW Ambulance chief executive Dominic Morgan said a number of firefighters suffered heat exhaustion on Saturday while battling the 112 fires, which were having a ‘big impact’ on demand for emergency services.
As conditions worsened, Prime Minister Scott Morrison covertly arrived in back Sydney after holidaying in Hawaii with his family.
The Australian public largely criticised the PM for quietly leaving the country during the worst bushfires the country has seen.
During a press conference at the NSW Rural Fire Service headquarters in Sydney on Sunday, Mr Morrison said he made the decision to leave based on fatherly instinct and believed he’d left Australia in capable hands during his week-long absence.
‘I get it that people would have been upset to know that I was holidaying with my family while their families were under great stress,’ he said.
He then addressed critics who demanded he take climate change more seriously.
The prime minister said he’d always acknowledged the connection between climate change and bushfires but there were also ‘many other issues’ at play, including drought, fuel-load management, lightning strikes and arson.
‘There is no argument … about the links between broader issues of global climate change and weather events around the world.
‘But I’m sure people equally would acknowledge that the direct connection to any single fire event – it’s not a credible suggestion to make that link.’
Scott Morrison appeared frazzled as he was grilled about his secret Hawaii family holiday
Two total fire bans are in place on Sunday in the Northern Slopes and North Western regions, under ‘very high’ fire danger.
‘Our big focus is on trying to consolidate and establish containment lines across as many fire grounds as we can. Mr Fitzsimmons told reporters.
‘We have significant fire spread south of the Bells Line of Road and through the valley system such as the Grose Valley in the Blue Mountains.’
Meanwhile, at least 54 people were injured on Saturday at the Cudlee Creek fire in South Australia, 23 of those including firefighters and two police officers.
Two people were found dead and hundreds of homes are on the brink of destruction.
One resident died in the Adelaide Hills as a fire ripped through the area, and another in a car crash in Lameroo.
At least 23 firefighters have been taken to hospital with injuries after battling more than 100 fires across South Australia, some just 40 minutes from the centre of Adelaide.
As of Saturday 15 houses were destroyed, along with 28 other buildings and 16 cars.
More than 70 homes have been destroyed in South Australia’s devastating bushfires that claimed the life of a 69-year-old engineer.
Ron Selth, who died in the Cudlee Creek bushfire in the Adelaide Hills over the weekend, has been remembered by his family and friends as a doting and generous man.
‘He will be remembered for his incredible – sometimes injury-causing – hugs and will be deeply missed by his family and his many friends,’ Mr Selth’s family said in a statement.
‘Some people give firm hugs – I don’t know what’s beyond firm, but that’s what Dad occasionally delivered. When he gave a hug, he meant it.’
The grandfather’s body was found on his Charleston property after the bushfires swept through last Friday.
Ron Selth (pictured), 69, who died in the Cudlee Creek bushfire in the Adelaide Hills over the weekend, is being remembered as a doting and generous man
Mr Selth’s body was found on his Charleston property after the deadly bushfires swept through last Friday
‘Ron was a loving, optimistic and generous man, who valued his relationships with family and friends more than anything else,’ the family told The Advertiser.
‘He built a highly successful engineering business that contributed to the design of thousands of buildings in SA, mainly in the Adelaide Hills, and is often described as having a unique and unforgettable character.’
Neighbour Michael McFarlane told 9News Mr Selth was a ‘nice bloke’.
‘I didn’t know the gentleman was up there. Now, if I had have known, I would have jumped in this machine behind me, went and picked him up and brought him back here as the fire was getting closer,’ he added.
Mr Selth left behind his partner Suzy, his children Luke, Jasmine and Johanna, and his six grandchildren.
A number of other people remain injured, and 3000 properties in the Adelaide Hills remain without power.
The number of homes destroyed in the Cudlee Creek bushfire has risen to 72, as well as 404 ‘outbuildings’ on properties and 227 vehicles.
South Australian Premier Steven Marshall said there were ‘scenes of absolute devastation’ as residents returned to their homes that had been reduced to rubble.
Emergency crews have also suffered injuries with 23 firefighters injured, one seriously, and two police officers needing treatment.
The number of homes destroyed in the Cudlee Creek bushfire has risen to 72, as well as 404 ‘outbuildings’ on properties and 227 vehicles
Building destroyed by a fire in Lobethal in the Adelaide Hills, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Meanwhile, smoke from the Adelaide Hills bushfire had dropped the city’s air quality rating to poor.
The Environment Protection Authority says air quality readings are improving but parts of the hills and metropolitan area remain affected by bushfire smoke.
The situation on Sunday was further exacerbated by an early morning temperature inversion layer which kept smoke low to the ground.
The EPA said anyone with health issues or concerns should stay inside with windows and doors closed.
A watch and act warning remains in place for the blaze, with the Country Fire Service reporting some renewed fire activity within the 127-kilometre perimeter.
The fire has burnt through more than 25,000 hectares and destroyed at least 15 homes.
Before it was sparked on Friday, the Bureau of Meteorology also reported that smoke from the NSW bushfires had made its way to Adelaide.
The massive Cudlee Creek fire in the Adelaide Hills has ravaged 25,000 hectares of country.
Another fatality was also reported at Lameroo when a car hit a tree sparking a grass fire.
‘There has been devastation right across the Adelaide Hills and the extent of that is yet to be seen,’ he said.
‘Many people in the affected areas haven’t had the opportunity to go back and assess the damage and I think there will be some pretty devastating scenes ahead of Christmas.’
‘We know in addition to those losses there are very significant losses of livestock, animals, crops and vineyards.
‘It’s going to be a scene of devastation, especially for those people in the Adelaide Hills who’ve been most affected.’
The cause of the Cudlee Creek fire is still being investigated but is believed to have been caused by a branch falling on a powerline.
A Woodside resident battles a fire as it crosses Ridge Road at Woodside in the Adelaide Hills in Adelaide, South Australia
Horrific footage shows fire climbing up a clifftop in the Blue Mountains into a valley
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