Bee in the bonnet over starting fire

A 68-year-old man from Sydney has been issued a $1100 infringement notice after he deliberately lit a fire near Orange on Thursday which left a woman in hospital.

NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) had declared a total fire ban for Orange with dry conditions across the region and hot, windy weather forecast.

His decision to burn off some old bee hives quickly turned into an out-of-control 12 hectare blaze.

Firefighters had to scramble to protect life and property at the Lower Lewis Ponds around 14 kilometres north-east of Orange.

RFS Canobolas Zone operational services co-ordinator Brett Bowden said the man’s disregard for a total fire ban in place was “frustrating”.

“It’s frustrating that people don’t either recognise or abide by rules but we live in a world where there’s lots of different individuals.”

A 58-year-old female relative of the man was transported to Orange hospital for observation and then later released for suspected burns to her face, chest and throat.

Despite Thursday’s fire Mr Bowden said overall they have had “fantastic co-operation” from the community across Canobolas during the ongoing hot weather.

"Police preparing to charge Lewis Ponds fire starter".

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