Authorities warn that penalties of up to 25 years in jail apply to those who deliberately light fires.
Authorities warn that penalties of up to 25 years in jail apply to those who deliberately light fires. Tom Huntley

Arson strike force formed to stop dangerous fire bugs

AS FIRE bans were enforced across NSW on Thursday, an arson strike force was being launched to deter fire bugs from causing the kind of devastation experienced during Victoria's Black Saturday disaster.

Penalties of up to 25 years in jail apply to those who deliberately light fires.

Strike Force Tronto commander, Detective Superintendent Ian McNab, said police were committed to tracking down anyone who put the lives and property of others at risk.

"The outcomes of bushfires can be catastrophic, and reports of deliberately-lit bushfires are treated extremely seriously," Det Supt McNab said.

"Strike Force Tronto has a range of overt and covert strategies which are used to detect bushfire arsonists, and anyone found to be involved in the deliberate lighting of bushfires will be arrested and put before the court."

 

Penalties relating to bushfires

  • Damaging property with the intention of endangering life - up to 25 years' imprisonment.
  • Manslaughter - up to 25 years' imprisonment.
  • Starting a bushfire and being reckless as to its spread - up to 14 years' imprisonment.
  • Lighting a fire when a total fire ban is in place - up to 12 months' imprisonment and/or a $5500 fine.
  • Not putting out a fire that you have lit - up to 12 months' imprisonment and/or a $5500 fine.
  • Failing to comply with a bush fire hazard reduction notice - up to 12 months' imprisonment and/or a $5500 fine.
  • Light or use a tobacco product within 15metres of any stack of grain, hay corn, straw or any standing crop, dry grass or stubble field - up to a $5500 fine.


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