A MAN has been charged after allegedly lighting a fire in NSW, in a backburning attempt to protect a cannabis crop.
The fire, which began on Thursday, is still burning out of control in the state’s Northern Tablelands.
Police say officers were alerted to the suspicious blaze after receiving reports of a fire threatening the township of Ebor, 80km north-east of Armidale.
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Following investigations, a 51-year-old Ebor man was arrested just after 2pm on Friday.
He was taken to Armidale Police Station where he was charged with intentionally cause fire and be reckless to its spread.
“Police will allege in court that the man lit the fire as an attempt to back burn for the protection of a cannabis crop and perceived benefit from recovery work after the fire and made no attempt to control the blaze,” NSW police said in a statement.
He was refused bail at Armidale Local Court and is due to appear in court again on Monday.