A 33-YEAR-OLD Forbes man appeared in Orange Local Court yesterday charged with deliberately starting a fire and recklessly allowing it to spread.
The charges against Bronson Anderson come following two incidents near Orange on Thursday night and yesterday morning.
At 5.30am yesterday emergency services were called to a fire on The Escort Way about three kilometres east of the intersection of The Escort Way and Toogong Road, approximately 50km west of Orange.
Police spoke to Anderson at the scene and he was taken to Orange police station for further questioning over the paddock fire which was adjacent to a grain paddock and other vegetation.
Anderson’s charges are in relation to yesterday morning’s fire and a previous fire on The Escort Way that is believed to have started at around 11.30pm on Thursday.
The second fire was five kilometres away from the first fire.
Anderson was also charged with two counts of lighting a fire during a total fire ban.
When he was arrested police allege he smelt of smoke, there was charcoal on his shoes and clothes and he was in possession of a cigarette lighter.
Police allege he told them he was not at home in Forbes because he’d had a fight with his “missus”.
During Anderson’s court appearance yesterday afternoon police prosecutor Sergeant Andy Bobin said the risk to the community of letting Anderson walk free was far too high given the current horrific bushfire situation in the Blue Mountains.
Sergeant Bobin said Anderson had a previous history of not turning up to court and breaching his bail conditions.
“There is clearly a total disregard for the safety of the community,” he said.
“It had the potential to break out and become uncontrollable which could have caused the township potential danger and placed a further burden on our emergency services.”
Solicitor Michael Bladwell acting for Anderson said his client had told him drugs and alcohol were not an issue but Mr Bladwell said he believed at some point his client may need to be assessed by a psychologist.
Sergeant Bobin said he would refer the case on to the Department of Public Prosecutions.
Magistrate Terry Lucas said he denied bail for the protection of the community.