A man has been charged with lighting a bushfire that took firefighters hours to put out on the NSW South Coast.

Police say the passer-by who initially called in the fire also noticed a man coming out of the bush on the side of the Princes Highway at Burrill Lake about 1.30pm (AEDT) on Wednesday.

Fire and Rescue NSW attended and extinguished the fire after a couple of hours. It is believed the fire burnt approximately 50sqm of bush.

Officers eventually arrested a 48-year-old local man and charged him with deliberately lighting the fire and an earlier fire on November 4.

He’s due to appear at Milton Local Court on Thursday.