Below are the television news stories of the Cliff Drive Bush Fire. The fire started at approximately 3.00pm on Monday 24th October 2011.
The fire started just before 2pm yesterday in the Cliff Drive and Birdwood Avenue area, causing the evacuation of 450 students from Katoomba High School and 25 residents from 12 nearby homes.
"During the blaze, seven homes sustained minor damage and a garden shed was destroyed," a police statement said.
Police and Rural Fire Service (RFS) investigators believe the fire, which this morning (Tuesday) has burned out 20 hectares, may have been deliberately lit.
"Early investigations suggest the fire may have been deliberately lit and investigators will examine the scene closely today," police stated.
"Detectives from Blue Mountains Local Area Command and Strike Force Tronto, together with Rural Fire Service investigators, will investigate the circumstances surrounding [the fire]."
An RFS statement issued this morning said firefighters would continue working to contain the blaze today.
"There is no immediate threat to properties," it stated.
"A weak southerly change has moved through overnight bringing milder conditions, which are assisting firefighters with efforts to contain the fire.
"Backburning operations have also been carried out overnight in the area around Katoomba Falls Road, Cliff Drive and Panorama Drive.
"The fire is burning in the valley below homes and crews will be working to contain this part of the fire today."
Anyone who may have seen anyone acting suspiciously about 2pm yesterday in the area should contact Katoomba police or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
An emergency warning has been put in place for the Cliff Drive and Birdwood Avenue area after the fire broke out in bushland just before 2pm this afternoon, causing Katoomba High School to be evacuated and putting properties at risk.
More than 100 Rural Fire Service (RFS) firefighters are now on the scene and more than 25 Fire and Rescue NSW trucks were either at the fire or on the way at 3.30pm today.
Ground crews are being assisted by three aircraft and additional crews from surrounding areas are being deployed to help with firefighting efforts.
"A number of homes have been evacuated in the area of Cliff Drive and Birdwood Avenue at Katoomba," an RFS statement said. "Approximately 450 students from Katoomba High School [were] evacuated to The Edge Cinema as a precaution.
"An emergency alert telephone message has been sent to approximately 230 mobile phones and 300 land lines in the area.
"Tourists are advised to avoid the area, particularly around Echo Point (Three Sisters Lookout)."
Fire and Rescue NSW Superintendent Tom Cooper said tourists were being advised to leave the area and the Katoomba Scenic Skyway had ceased operating.
"At the moment we are evacuating some of the tourists in the area," Superintendent Cooper said.
"Four strike teams are headed this way [to the Mountains] from Sydney and there are four trucks in each one.
"The strike teams are coming up not to fight the fire but to be put in place to fill stations and provide property protection.
"The Katoomba Skyway has been stopped and tourists are being advised to leave the area.
"There is not much information at this stage because they're all flat out."
There have been no reports of injuries of property damage.
For regular updates visit the RFS website at www.rfs.nsw.gov.au, or phone the NSW RFS Bush Fire Information Line on 1800 679 737. If your life is at risk, call Triple Zero (000) immediately.