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An ‘above normal’ bush fire season is expected for much of NSW: Barwon LAC & NSW Police Force

Media Release – Barwon LAC – NSW Police Force

An ‘above normal’ bush fire season is expected for much of NSW, according to the latest outlook from the Bushfire & Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre.

Barwon Local Area Commander, Acting Superintendent David Silversides said “members of the community should not need to be reminded that fires can be catastrophic, and reports of deliberately-lit fires, whether grass fires, house fires or resulting bush fires are treated extremely seriously”.

”Anyone found to be involved in the deliberate lighting of bushfires will be arrested and put before the court”.

Acting Superintendent Silversides said “residents are asked to report any suspicious activity by contacting police. If you see an unattended fire, phone Triple Zero (000) immediately”.

Police are also reminding people that they could face serious penalties if found responsible for the accidental lighting of bushfires, including not putting out a fire they have lit.FireSign

Penalties relating to bushfires under the NSW Crimes Act, the Rural Fires Act, and Rural Fires Regulation include:
– 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.

Residents are urged to monitor Fire Bans and Warning notices by visitingwww.nfs.nsw.gov.au or liking their Facebook site athttp://www.facebook.com/frnsw

Anyone with information about fires should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page:https://www1.police.nsw.gov.au/. Information you provide will be treated in the strictest of confidence. We remind people they should not report crime information via our Facebook and Twitter pages.

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