Woman's reckless driving sparked bushfire, say police

A woman accused of reckless driving that sparked a bushfire has been refused bail and will face court.

The 31-year-old Gundagai woman, who was driving on the Sturt Highway near Wagga Wagga, is alleged to have been travelling too close to other vehicles and overtaking in an unsafe manner.

She is said to have forced another vehicle off the road while overtaking, causing it to "bottom out" in a shower of sparks that ignited a patch of grass.

The woman then lost control of her own car, which left the roadway and landed in a table drain.

Rural Fire Service officers, who were already in the area to maintain control of an earlier blaze, were able to extinguish the grass fire – but not before it burned some 100 square metres of grass and destroyed the car.

Police who arrived on the scene said the woman appeared to have been drinking, but she refused a breath test. She was arrested and taken to the Wagga Wagga Police Station, where it was discovered she was disqualified from driving.

The woman has been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, refusing to provide a breath test, driving while disqualified and driving in a manner dangerous to the public.

Her bail was refused and she is due in court on Wednesday.

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