Seven people caught starting bushfires in SA

FIREBUGS: Superintendent Kym Hand said seven people had been caught causing bushfires. PHOTO: SA Police
FIREBUGS: Superintendent Kym Hand said seven people had been caught causing bushfires. PHOTO: SA Police

Seven people have been arrested or reported for causing a bushfire intentionally or recklessly since Operation Nomad began in September. Four people were arrested or reported for lighting or maintaining a fire during the Fire Danger Season.

Superintendent Kym Hand said Operation Nomad focuses on deliberate, reckless and negligent acts that may cause a bushfire.

Of the 454 Nomad classified fires, 333 were deemed non-suspicious, 22 deliberate incidents, 74 suspicious incidents and 25 were undetermined incidents.

"Arrests and reports are well down from last year when SA Police reported or arrested 85 people for offences, this is likely due to prevailing weather and social conditions," Superintendent Hand said.

"This year 24 people were issued expiation notices, compared to 121 last Fire Danger Season. Expiation notices were issued for offences such as lighting and maintaining a fire in the open, or failing to comply with the restrictions on the use of certain appliances."

This year, SA Police joined forces with the South Australia State Emergency Service (SES) for Operation Nomad. Superintendent Hand and Minister for Emergency Services Vincent Tarzia thanked the SES for their support and said the partnership will continue until the end of the Fire Danger Season.

"SES personnel have been instrumental in boosting SAPOL's capability during Operation Nomad to guard the safety of South Australians throughout the Fire Danger Season," Minister Tarzia said.

"Once again, Operation Nomad has poured cold water on dangerous behaviour that risks lives.

"Firebugs have no place in our community and their reckless actions will not be tolerated."

There are 89 persons of interest monitored by police, with eight of them incarcerated and 15 juvenile.

"These patrols are not only proactively detecting risky and deliberate behaviour they are also a source of education for the community to reduce the risk of a bushfire," Superintendent Hand said.

The community is reminded that new regulations were introduced on 1 March to reduce the risk of bushfires. The minimum clearance space to operate hot tools, such as grinders and oxy cutters, extended from four metres to 10 metres.

Expiation notice fees also increased from $315 to $473 for people found not adhering to Fire Danger Season restrictions.

This story Seven people caught starting bushfires in SA first appeared on Naracoorte Herald.