VIOLENT storms and high winds have caused widespread damage across parts of the Far West, Orana, Central West and Lithgow areas late Tuesday and early Wednesday.
Local Rural Fires Service (RFS) crews have been kept busy extinguishing spot fires while also working in conjunction with teams from Essential Energy and the State Emergency Service (SES) to restore power and remove fallen trees across the region.
Acting District Manager for Orana RFS, Bronwyn Waters, said there were over 14 new incidents around Dubbo alone.
"The storms hit quickly and created havoc around the area with trees down, roofing damaged near Wellington and there were a number of fires caused by lightning strikes and machinery," she said.
"We still have a couple of fires that are under control and we will continue to monitor including a grass fire near Collie which took out approximately 571 hectares.
Article continues after video. Video: Belinda Soole
A bigger issue for the Orana RFS was the large amount of people and sightseers impeding firefighters efforts. Ms Waters said the issue caused delays in traffic and could have been worse.
"There were a few cars blocking the road and causing congestion which makes things difficult," she said.
"People need to realise they are putting themselves and other people in harms way so the best advice is to stay well away from any fire area."
Canobolas RFS Service fared slightly better than their neighbours and Operations Officer, Brett Bowden, said that most of the issues they dealt with were minor.
"We had a number of trees down in the area resulting in some road closures and call outs but no running fires to date," he said.
"Obviously there were a lot of strikes across our region and around the state so we will have some reconnaissance flights out today around midday checking on areas of lightning strikes and possibly some more flights tomorrow as well."
There was good news around Bathurst and Lithgow with no fires to report and a message of thanks from the local crew.
Chifley-Lithgow Operational Officer, Brett Taylor, said it was good to see people helping prepare for a busy season.
"We have had a number of people doing the right thing and preparing their property against the risk of bushfires," he said.
"From simple maintenance and clearing through to slashing and creating barriers, it all helps prevent fires from entering or exiting properties and reduces the risk of fires spreading."
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