A 51-year-old man has been charged for allegedly lighting a blaze that threatened homes in northern NSW.

Police allege the man lit the fire, which has grown out of control and burnt more than 3500 hectares, to protect his cannabis crop near Ebor, east of Armidale in the Northern Tablelands on Thursday.

The man was arrested on Friday afternoon and taken to Armidale police station where he was charged with intentionally causing a fire and recklessness to allow its spread.

Police said the man was attempting to backburn for the protection of his cannabis crop and made no attempt to control the blaze.

The man was refused bail and is expected to appear before Armidale Local Court on Saturday.

Source: https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/man-charged-for-lighting-nsw-bushfire-to-protect-cannabis-crop-20191116-p53b69.html