ARSON ARREST: Man charged with lighting a bushfire

A DORRIGO man has been charged by police with allegedly lighting a bushfire on the Coffs Coast.

The man, 57, stands accused of lighting a bushfire on Coramba Rd at Dorrigo soon after midday on August 19.

A section of bush, about 180 square metres, was burnt out before the fire was extinguished by Rural Fire Service and NSW Fire and Rescue crews.

Detectives from the Financial Crimes Squad's Arson unit executed a search warrant at a Dorrigo home on Tuesday  morning and seized several items including a mobile phone and 180-grams of cannabis.

The man was arrested and taken to Coffs Harbour Police Station where he was charged with two counts of intentionally cause fire and be reckless as to its spread and two counts of possess prohibited drug.

He was refused bail to appear at Coffs Harbour Local Court on Wednesday. 

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.

Penalties 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 21 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 15 metres of any stack of grain, hay corn, straw or any standing crop, dry grass or stubble field, up to a $5500 fine.



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