THE arrival of the annual spring storms has seen lightning strikes become a major contributing factor to bush fires in the Clarence Valley this week.
NSW RFS Clarence Valley district manager Superintendent Stuart Watts said the Rural Fire Service was today working to contain at least three blazes believed to be associated with lightning strikes - one between Buccarumbi and Chambigne, and two in the Kangaroo Creek area.
"One was contained fairly quickly, but another one popped up in the last hour or so," he said.
"We're also still working on the containment of a fire at Cawleys Creek in the Upper Fine Flower. Luckily none of these have come close to properties.
"We're expecting more action into the weekend, but it is dependant on whether the weather gods are our side."
The increase in lightning strikes makes it one of the two top bushfire causes in the region, along with those that are suspected to have been deliberately lit.
As of 4.30pm, the RFS was working to contain eight fires across the Clarence Valley.
"We've had the odd fire caused by an escape from a written permit, but most have been unidentified," Supt Watts said.
"Again, we need to remind people to be careful if they are lighting fires, and if they see unattended or people acting suspicious in bush areas they also need to report it to police."
He added that the end of the fire season was hopefully in sight, with long -term forecast still predicted a La Nina pattern to form.
"This time of the year is either make or break; it will either rain or progress," Supt Watts said.