Another cause, the defence force admits it started the massive bushfire.
An angry Blue Mountains mayor wants answers from the Department of Defence after it emerged army explosives training started the massive State Mine bushfire which has stalked his community for a week.
The State Mine fire has burnt through more than 46,000 hectares, engulfing an area from Lithgow along the northern edge of the Blue Mountains, threatening homes and lives.
The Rural Fire Service said an investigation had found the training exercise on army land at Marrangaroo on October 16 was responsible for the blaze.
‘The investigation has concluded the fire started as a result of exploding ordinances on the range on Wednesday,’ an RFS spokesman said.
The Department of Defence would not confirm the RFS’s findings, but Blue Mountains mayor Mark Greenhill said he was not happy at all and has not yet heard from the department.
‘I would have thought the community of the Blue Mountains is owed something,’ he told the ABC.
Mr Greenhill said even though there was no fire ban on the day, the explosives exercise should not have gone ahead.
‘I would have hoped on a day like that which was a dry day, a hot day, with the winds – the Australian military would have known it was not a good day to be igniting,’ he said.
‘The fire has caused great concern to my community, great damage to my community and it just shouldn’t have happened.
‘It’s the damage it does to the community and the stress it causes. There’s the damage it does in terms of the risks taken by the firefighters, there’s the damage it does in terms of the costs to the community in terms of fighting the fire.
‘And it’s still going.’
Defence said it was still conducting its own investigation.
NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell said it shouldn’t be forgotten that the defence department had also provided a lot of firefighting assistance.
‘I want to ensure that this doesn’t detract from the efforts that defence have made over the past week in assisting the state’s emergency services battle these fires,’ he told the Seven Network
I think the mayor has it all wrong, it was the C02 that caused the fire not the live rounds.
He should tell the military to carry on because with C02 at these levels we are all toast anyway.