STRONG winds which swept through the district yesterday combined with the warmest temperatures in months to keep fire services on the run.
The Rural Fire Service based in Orange responded to seven fires in the area, including breakouts at Clifton Grove, East Guyong, Gosling Creek, Manildra and Mount Pleasant Lane, where a stolen vehicle was torched.
Operations manager with the Rural Fire Service Brett Bowden said all the fires will be investigated today.
“But it appears several of them were sparks from fires that had been individual property owner burn-offs,” he said.
Orange Fire Brigade also responded to a grass fire around 4pm in Gallipoli Place.
Mr Bowden said the most significant fire to be put out, and the one requiring the biggest effort, was at East Guyong, where five hectares of land was burned out and the fire brought under control around 4.30pm.
Six units from Orange and the district responded to this fire.
Orange Highway Patrol also raced to the scene of the fire and, although the road remained open, visibility was affected.
Mr Bowden said RFS staff closely monitored wind speeds all day, with the average wind speed for the day 52km per hour.
“But on at least three occasions there were wind gusts of around 72km per hour,” he said.
The fire at Manildra burned out approximately one hectare.
No houses were threatened during any of the fires.
Mr Bowden said yesterday’s high wind, combined with the high fuel loads and warmer weather, is probably the forerunner to what will be the busiest bushfire season for many years.
Local bushfire personnel have predicted Orange and district is subject to the worst bushfire potential in 15 years.
Log on to the Central Western Daily website for regular bushfire updates over the coming months.