A BURRENDONG Way farmer said he was dumbfounded as to why someone would deliberately start a fire in the middle of summer.
While a one-hectare fire on Thursday night at Boomey Lane, off Burrendong Way, was quickly extinguished, fire crews said it could have threatened people, property and livelihoods.
It is the ninth fire suspected to have been deliberately lit in the area over the last year, with police investigators on scene yesterday to determine its cause.
Sheep and cattle farmer Jeff McGregor and his family live not far from the latest blaze and he said it could have easily impacted his property.
“What reason do people do such a thing,” he said.
“Farming is our livelihood and I’ve also got children and I’m concerned for their lives.
“You can’t insure everything ... livestock would be lost, you probably couldn’t muster stock out of the way quick enough.”
NSW Rural Fire Service Canobolas Zone operations officer Brett Bowden said they would be keeping an eye on the area.
“There’s no doubt in our minds someone’s lighting fires,” he said.
“It’s worrying and certainly all the residents and landholders out there are well aware of what’s going on and they are concerned.”
Mr Bowden said Thursday night’s fire was spotted within minutes of it being started.
The sheer foolhardiness of these suspected arson attacks has left Mr McGregor struggling to understand why someone would do this.
Mr McGregor said he was told by a neighbour a dark car was spotted speeding away from the area not long after the fire started.
“The fact is they took off down Burrendong Way ... they’re country people, they should know better and understand the consequence of what they do,” he said.
Canobolas Local Area Command duty officer Inspector Bruce Grassick said the fire could have had disastrous consequences.
“It’s [the fire] certainly dangerous to not only the public but property owners and an issue in relation to stock,” he said.
Inspector Grassick has urged anyone with information on the fires to contact Orange Police Station on 6363 6399 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.