Firies on high alert across NSW; 13-year-old boy charged with lighting grass fires at Orange

FIRE fighters across NSW remain on high alert today as bushfires threaten much of the state.

At 11am today there were 76 bush or grass fires burning across NSW, with 26 of them classified as “not contained” and five “watch and act”, with more than 1000 fire fighters in the field across the state.

Bulahdelah in the Hunter Region and the Greater Taree, Gloucester, Wauchope and Great Lakes areas are under threat.

Residents in these areas are being advised to monitor the situation closely and to implement bush fire survival plans immediately.

There are large fires west and north-west of Bulahdelah and residents are being told to leave the area immediately if it is safe to do so.


Firefighters and paramedics are briefed on today’s “catastrophic” bush fire classification (Image: NSW Rural Fire Service).

Police will close Thunderbolts Way between Scone Road and Nowendoc Village at midday today while the Golden Highway has been closed between Vinegaroy Road and Black Stump Way, and is expected to remain closed for most of the day.

Concerned residents are urged to use the NSW Rural Fire Service’s “Fires Near Me” link:

Meanwhile, a teenage boy has been charged following a grass fire in the state’s central west on Saturday.

About 2pm yesterday emergency services were called to an industrial area on William Street, Orange, following reports of a fire.

Emergency services attended and an animal shelter was evacuated.

Police were told a group of teenagers were seen walking along the grassed area between William Street and the railway line.

One of these teens was allegedly seen lighting fires before the grass caught alight and the group fled.

About 4.45pm yesterday, officers from Canobolas Local Area Command attended a home on Dalton Street.

A 13-year-old boy was arrested and taken to Orange Police Station where he was charged with several offences.

He was granted conditional bail to appear at a children’s court tomorrow, February 13.

The fire was extinguished and while no building structures were damaged, approximately 100 wrecked motor vehicles were.

Police and emergency services continue to remind people to report any suspicious activity about people they believe may be involved in deliberately lighting bushfires.