The NSW Rural Fire Service has seen a significant increase in bushfires over the past week due to an increase in lightning strikes, including two west of Wollongong.
Spokesman James Morris said despite wet weather in recent weeks, hot and windy days are quickly drying the environment.
“Especially in the grassland areas,” Mr Morris said. “It’s a concern for us and residents do need to be mindful. Just because we’ve had some rain, the threat isn’t over.”
Saturday afternoon saw the RFS called to a bushfire near the Hume Highway at Forest Creek with flames getting up to around five metres tall.
Emergency services were called around 2:30pm and were able to get the blaze under control very quickly in around 30 minutes.
Mr Morris said the fire had the potential to encroach on the major highway with the southerly that swept through, thankfully also bringing rain with it.
Saturday’s storms also helped around water-bombing aircraft and about 25 firefighters from the RFS and National Parks get the upper hand on a blaze at Avon Dam, who had it under control by 5pm.
The two hectare bushfire was sparked around 12:30pm on Friday.
Both incidents were suspected to have been sparked by lightning.
“We’re starting to see an increase in fires again and all it takes is a small amount of warm and windy weather to be able to dry that fuel out,” Mr Morris said.
“Sometimes we also see wind driven fires at the moment.
“As much as the fuel might be somewhat damp, that fire’s actually being pushed along by the wind and travelling along the top of the fuel as opposed to burning that solid material.”
He advised residents to be mindful and keep their gutters clear, have a bushfire survival plan and clean up around the house.