NSW Rural Fire Service crews are investigating the cause of a blaze about 20 kilometres from Orange that was fought by firefighters from Bathurst’s Chifley RFS zone.
It is believed the fire may have been deliberately lit.
As of Monday morning, the fire, near Freemantle Road at Gowan, east of Ophir, had burnt through 48 hectares, with NSW RFS Canobolas Zone operations officer Brett Bowden confirming the origin was “suspicious”.
“The cause is undetermined, but we don’t think it is lightning,” he said.
Seven crews from the Chifley and Canobolas RFS zones continued containment efforts on Monday morning, with the fire status reduced to ‘under control’ on the Fires Near Me website.
Mr Bowden said while the blaze was contained, high temperatures predicted for the remainder of the week, coupled with last week’s lightning, meant crews remained on high alert across the region.
“While there was rain, it wasn’t substantial – particularly in Blayney,” he said.
Mr Bowden said the dry conditions meant trees struck by lightning last week were at risk of igniting if predictions of temperatures in the high 30s eventuated.
If you do see smoke rising throughout the day, notify triple-0 so we can tend to them as soon as possible.
Wednesday, Thursday and Friday are forecast to reach a sweltering 41, 40 and 40 degrees Celsius respectively in Bathurst, with Tuesday (39 degrees) not too far behind.
A cool change is predicted for Sunday.
Mr Bowden asked the public to support crews over the next few days by not using power tools during the heat of the day.
“If you do see smoke rising throughout the day, notify triple-0 so we can tend to them as soon as possible,” he said.
Elsewhere, NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service personnel continue to mop up the Curembenya blaze, which burned out more than 2000 hectares in the Goobang National Park near Manildra last week.
That fire, in the Cabonne Shire, is under control.
Mr Bowden said the RFS had also worked to contain a fire an hour south of Orange on Quartpot Road on the weekend.