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Man, 23, Charged With Lighting Fires After 'Coming Out Of Bush Covered In Soot'

A 23-year-old man will face court allegedly lighting a bushfire after police spotted him emerging from bushland in Cessnock covered in soot.

Officers had been attending to a bushfire near Greta Street, in Abardare, about 11pm on Friday when they spotted the man.

He was arrested and taken to Cessnock Police Station, before being transferred to hospital for assessment.

After his release, the man was taken to Maitland Police Station and charged with two counts of intentionally causing a fire, and being reckless as to its spread.

Police allege the man intentionally lit two fires in the bush - one near Cessnock Road, Neath, about 3:30 pm, and a second near Greta Street.

The man has been granted conditional bail and will appear at Cessnock Local Court on January 29.

Residents were alerted to a fire burning near Cessnock Road in Neath about 9pm on Friday, but were told there was no immediate danger.

In a separate incident, a 71-year-old man was arrested on Friday morning after a fire he allegedly lit without a permit spread and burned through more than 40 hectares of bushland.

The Moruya man was charged with lighting a fire for land clearance/ fire break without permit or notice, and owner permitting fire to escape land, cause damage.

He will face Moruya Local Court on January 10.