POLICE have charged a man with breaching the total fire ban in NSW's Illawarra region after he allegedly lit a cooking fire.
Officers were called to a rural property on Smith Lane at Wongawilli at about 1am (AEDT) today where they saw the fire in a stove in a carport.
The stove was old and damaged with hot ash falling to the ground, police said.
Police attempted to extinguish the fire, but the 70-year-old property owner allegedly tried to stop them.
The man was arrested and issued a court attendance notice for failing to comply with a government-ordered fire ban.
He is due to appear at Port Kembla Local Court on April 4.