THOUSANDS of lightning strikes during the last few months have resulted in one of the busiest bushfire danger periods on record for volunteer firefighters in the Canobolas district.
Bushfire danger period runs from October 1 to March 31 each year and during these months NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) crews were put to the test due to drought and wild storms.
During the past six months, Canobolas RFS crews were called out to more than 200 bush and grass fires, Superintendent David Hoadley said.
"We've had a very busy fire season with lots of lightning strikes. The number of lightning strikes was significant," he said.
Supt Hoadley said the lightning strikes were the cause of most of these fires, including a 2000-hectare blaze in the Curumbenya Range that ignited on January 5 and burnt through bushland for five days.
Crews were also called to a separate 40-hectare blaze during the bushfire danger period.
Supt Hoadley said thanks to prompt reporting by the public and quick action by Canobolas firefighters, the rest of the blazes were much smaller - a number under 10 hectares and many contained to just a hectare or two.
"It comes down to preparation and planning and having people ready, having good systems in place," Supt Hoadley said.
Recent rainfall - 61.6 millimetres in January, 62.2mm in February and 37.2mm in March - has also been a benefit.
"We've had some really nice rain in the last few weeks which has boosted everyone's spirits," Supt Hoadley said.
There are 2801 volunteer firefighters stationed at 80 brigades across the Canobolas RFS district.