ORANGE Fire and Rescue responded to 13 fires on New Year’s Eve and early on New Year’s Day, making the evening one of their busiest in years.
A Fire and Rescue spokesman said several residents had started small bonfires in their backyards to hold New Year’s Eve celebrations.
The brigade also responded to a grass fire behind the unoccupied Kurim Shops, which they believe was deliberately lit.
Garbage bins set alight and other unexplained small fires, including one in Icely Road and two calls to Orange showground, kept fire crews on the run through the night.
Complaints of illegal fireworks being set off across the city were also received by police and fire officers.
The Fire and Rescue spokesman said several of the fires had been deliberately lit or had got out of control after people lit fires during a fire ban.
“We would really like to remind people that it is very important they check the status of whether or not they are able to light fires,” the spokesman said.
“People need to be aware of weather conditions and possible fire bans and to heed the warnings.”
Yesterday afternoon several Rural Fire Service crews responded to a fire on the outskirts of Lucknow, which was quickly bought under control.
However, traffic was halted on the highway while the fire was extinguished.