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Woman charged with starting blaze as bushfires rage in northern NSW

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A woman will face court accused of lighting one of the bushfires that residents and fire crews have spent two days fighting in northern New South Wales.

The 40-year-old was charged on Wednesday night for allegedly lighting rubbish on fire in a steel drum in her backyard near Tabulam in the state’s north on Tuesday morning.

The blaze was allegedly left unattended in the hot weather and amid a total fire ban.

It quickly spread to bushland, incinerated almost 3,000 hectares and forced the evacuation of the Jubullum Aboriginal area before destroying five houses.

The woman was charged with intentionally causing fire and being reckless to its spread during a total fire ban, and ordered to appear in Casino local court on 27 February.

Fire crews spent Wednesday night battling that blaze along with erratic fires at Wallangarra and Tingha, as a southerly change swept through the state along with cooler conditions.

There are reports of homes lost on the edge of Tingha, and residents spent much of the night defending properties in the surrounded bush township.

The cooler conditions should see a relaxing of the fire ban across the state but the blazes burned out of control throughout the night and into the early hours of the morning.

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