COINCIDING with Fire Action Week last week, Victoria Police announced a ‘zero tolerance’ policy towards bushfire arsonists this fire season.
This follows an increase in deliberately lit fires last season, when police responded to 62 cases of intentionally lit bushfires across the state – 19 more instances than the previous fire season.
Acting Deputy Commissioner Jack Blayney said Operation Firesetter would be re-activated over the coming months to reduce the occurrence and impact of suspicious bushfire arson activity.
“Operation Firesetter is a dedicated bushfire arson prevention and detection operation focusing on high-risk and arson prone areas,” he said.
“We’ll be monitoring persons of interest and any person responsible for starting an uncontrolled open air fire, no matter how small or large, will face the maximum penalty.
“People who commit bushfire arson are not always strangers, they often live and work in local communities.