A grass fire near Back Yamma State Forest, east of Forbes, on Thursday night serves as a timely reminder for caution ahead of the soaring, forecast temperatures across the Central West region this weekend.
NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) crews were called to the blaze along Troubalgie Road just around midnight on Thursday, with local brigades from Vychan, Back Yamma and Forbes helping contain the burn to approximately 24 hectares.
A lightning strike has been determined as the cause of the blaze after a dry storm rolled through the area, just hours after the Bureau of Meteorology had issues severe weather and thunderstorm warnings for the Central West and Upper Western regions of the state.
Lightning strikes prove incredibly dangerous and common causes of grass and bush fires in hot, dry conditions, leading the RFS to reiterate words of warning ahead of the forecast heatwave across the state this weekend.
Temperatures are expected to soar upward of 40 degrees across the region over the weekend and into Australia Day on Tuesday, with low relative humidity and strong winds forming a perfect trifecta for fire conditions.
"People need to take this seriously," NSW RFS director Peter McKechnie told reporters on Thursday.
"This season we haven't had these heightened fire dangers but we have now got to be prepared."
"We're hoping that the wind doesn't also increase too much, because then we've got the holy trilogy being high temperatures, low humidity and high winds," NSW RFS Canobolas Zone operations officer Brett Bowden told the Cowra Guardian.
"It's probably the first consecutive days of heatwave activity that we've seen this summer and we are somewhat concerned about fires starting and then being difficult to control."
Firefighters in the Lachlan area also attended a blaze at Tullibigeal Central School on Thursday afternoon, which broke out in an area used as the library and common room.
The building wasn't detroyed, classrooms weren't damaged the fire was brought under control.
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