Police from Brisbane Water Local Area Command are appealing for witnesses following a number of suspicious bush fires in North Gosford/Wyoming areas on in recent days.
Between 10.35pm on Tuesday 12 September and 4.20pm on Wednesday 13 September 2017, emergency services responded to several scrub fires, believed to be deliberately lit, in bushland at the eastern end of Plateau Road, North Gosford.
Police are urging anyone with information about these fires to 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.
For information on bushfires, monitor www.rfs.nsw.gov.au or call the Bush Fire Information Line on 1800 679 737.
Police are also reminding people that they could face penalties if found responsible for the lighting of bushfires – accidental or otherwise – including not putting out a fire they have lit.
Strike Force Tronto, comprised of detectives from the Property Crime Squad’s Arson Unit, is the lead investigative body on suspicious or deliberately-lit bushfires which lead to death, serious injury or significant property loss.
The detectives work closely with local area commands and investigators from the NSW Rural Fire Service and Fire and Rescue NSW.
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.