The first major bushfire of the season burnt about 300ha before volunteers brought it under control yesterday evening.
About 30 Rural Fire Service (RFS) volunteers aided by three fixed-wing aircraft fought the blaze south of Dubbo.
At its height, the fire, about 20km south of the city on Obley Road, threatened about four farming properties.
Fuelled by an easterly breeze and long, dry pastures, the fire began about 3.30pm.
The three planes dumped water on the fire until dark, helping the RFS efforts on the ground.
Huge blankets of black smoke could be seen billowing from the blaze that broke out on a property 20km south on Obley Road about 3.30pm.
The blaze hugged the side of a large hill and came close to a number of farm houses.
An easterly breeze had made it difficult for volunteer fire fighters to control the blaze, said RFS Inspector Bob Conran. Tankers and volunteers from Bendalong, Cumboogle, Dubbo and a state mitigation crew attended the scene.
The cause of the blaze is unknown and investigations were due to begin once the fire was under control, Inspector Conran said.
“Once things calm down out there they will start an investigation into what’s caused it,” Inspector Conran said.
He reiterated the need for caution during the bushfire season, which isn’t due to end until March 31.
“We are through the worst part of summer and things are calming down but don’t become complacent,” Inspector Conran said.
“We have had rain and there is some green in pastures up to now but there is still a lot of dryness in pastures and that’s a risk.”
Dubbo reached a top of 27 degrees yesterday with humidity at 35 per cent.
“Fire danger is not high but the easterly breeze is pushing the blaze along. If it was calmer than we could have pulled it up quickly,” Inspector Conran said.