As the weather heats up, Victoria Police and the CFA are ramping up efforts to prevent and protect the community from fires which have been recklessly or intentionally lit.
According to Victoria Police, last summer, 95 percent of fire-related offences were caused by reckless actions such as using tools or machinery during a fire danger period or burning off without a permit.
Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Michael Grainger said police will use an intelligence-led approach to proactively monitor high risk areas in an effort to stop risky behaviour before it has devastating consequences.
“Local police will be active in assessing their local fire risks this summer, using intelligence and local knowledge to task and resource effectively,” AC Grainger said.
“Deliberate and reckless behaviour involving fire can result in a huge cost to the community through loss of life, destruction of property and the environment.
“Year after year police see far too many people taking part in careless and reckless behaviour that results in fires during the summer period.
“A recklessly lit fire such as failing to properly extinguish a campfire is a crime that carries severe penalties.
“It’s everyone’s responsibility to be mindful of their activities during fire danger periods, otherwise your actions could result in the cause of a bushfire.”
Anyone found guilty of recklessly or intentionally causing a bushfire faces a penalty of up to 15 years imprisonment.
For more on this story see Page 2 of The Advertiser, Friday, January 4