A former volunteer firefighter stands accused of sparking two bushfires about four kilometres apart while he had two young children with him.
Authorities allege the fires, lit on Dargavilles Road near Nabiac during Sunday's heatwave, were extinguished before completely taking hold after witnesses saw the man's white van leave the scene moments before smoke began to pour skyward.
Nearby police patrolled other rural roads in the area before seeing the suspect vehicle and taking the 32-year-old into custody.
It is alleged the man had two children - both aged under 10 - with him when he stopped on the side of the road and used a cigarette lighter to spark the first fire.
He then allegedly drove several kilometres along the road before stopping and repeating the act.
Firefighters were able to contain both blazes to about three hectares despite the extreme fire danger across the region.
The suspect is understood to have been a Rural Fire Service member before resigning in 2007.
He was charged on Sunday with two counts of intentionally causing fire and being reckless as to its spread and was refused bail. He is due to appear in Taree Local Court on Monday.The man was one of three people charged with lighting bushfires across NSW during the weekend heatwave.
MONDAY 8.30am: A man will appear in court today after two deliberately lit fires started near Nabiac.
Emergency services were called to reports of a bushfire on Dargavilles Road at Nabiac, about 25km north-west of Forster, about 3.30pm on Friday
Police were told a man in a white van was allegedly seen lighting the fire.
While patrolling, officers from Highway and Traffic Patrol Command sighted a white van and spoke with the driver.
The 32-year-old man was arrested and taken to Forster Police Station where he was charged with two counts of intentionally cause fire and be reckless as to its spread.
He was refused bail to appear at Taree Local Court today.
The fires were extinguished and no building structures were damaged, other than vegetation and fencing.
SUNDAY: A 32-year-old man is assisting with inquiries after a two deliberately lit fires started at the Dargavilles Road area at Nabiac.
The man was arrested on Sunday afternoon by police from Manning Great Lakes Local Area Command.
He will be taken to Forster Police Station to assist detectives with their investigation.
Fire investigators from the Rural Fire Service will be assisting local detectives to determine the cause of the fires.