Firefighters responded to a fire in a derelict gas plant at Newport.

Just after 12.15am this morning (Friday, 05 May), Fire and Rescue NSW Avalon and Narrabeen Stations responded to a report of smoke coming from bush near Hillside Road, Newport.

Initially concerned the fire was in an area of littoral rainforest that had recently been preserved at Hillside Road, Narrabeen firefighters determined the source of the smoke was actually coming from an area closer to Porter Reserve at Burke Street.

Fire at Porter Reserve, Newport

Firefighters from Avalon Station made their way into a large quarried out part of the hillside off Burke Street, which was historically used as a gas storage facility, but is now derelict.

Fire at Porter Reserve, Newport

Completely hidden from view up an old access road at Porter Reserve, the only remaining structure in the disused site is a bunker-like brick and concrete building, which is covered in graffiti and now used by local youths as a hideout.

Fire at Porter Reserve, Newport

Firefighters found piles of vegetation waste on fire, presumably from a small campfire that had escaped containment.

It is not clear why the piles of vegetation were left there, with some speculation the area may have been used as temporary storage.

Fire at Porter Reserve, Newport

Working in the dark with only light from their vehicles, firefighters set about extinguishing the burning vegetation using the hose reels from their trucks.

While the fire was largely contained by the sheer rock walls of the excavated area, there remained a threat to surrounding bushland from flying embers.

Firefighters doused the vegetation piles with water and checked for hot spots before declaring the fire fully extinguished just after 1.15am.

There were no injuries reported as a result of the incident. The cause of the fire appears to be suspicious, however no one was seen in the vicinity.

Images: Northern Beaches Advocate

Crime Stoppers 1800 333 000

NSW Police are seeking public assistance in relation to this matter. If you have any information that may assist them with their inquiries, please contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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