Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Police issue fire warning

Benalla police warn that recklessly lit fires is a crime.

KAITLIN THALS January 3, 2014 4:15am

Benalla police warn that recklessly lit fires is a crime.

Police warn residents that recklessly lighting fires is a criminal act.

Benalla Police Service Area Divisional Commander Darren McGrillen told the Ensign yesterday that several fires had sparked across Benalla and district which were caused by reckless behaviour.

Div Comm McGrillen said examples of this were: using farming machinery without proper firefighting equipment; failing to properly extinguish a campfire; and using tools such as angle grinders on total fire ban days.

‘‘Like arson, reckless behaviour that starts a fire is a crime,’’ Div Comm McGrillen said.

‘‘You need to comply with requirements around declared fire danger periods, declared fire danger areas and total fire ban days. Police will investigate all bushfires that are deemed to be deliberately lit or caused through recklessness.’’

Recklessly causing a bushfire could carry fines of up to $34000 and 15 years in jail.

Meanwhile, police are seeking information about two deliberately lit grassfires in Benalla within 500m of each other.

Benalla police Crime Investigation Unit Detective Acting Sergeant Gary Dean said the first fire sparked on a vacant block on Commercial Rd on Monday between 1am and 1.20am. He said the second blaze ignited on Railway Pde between 4am and 4.30am the same day.

If anyone noticed suspicious behaviour or has information, phone Crime Stoppers on 1800333000.

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