Hidden cameras installed in Coffs Harbour forests
FOLLOWING a spate of arson attacks, a number of hidden cameras have been installed in forests around Coffs Harbour.
The cameras were installed this week and ranger patrols are being ramped up in all State Forests in order to catch arsonists.
Forestry Corporation's Forest Protection Manager Karel Zejbrlik said many fires had been deliberately lit in north coast State forests and timber plantations in the past week, putting communities and forest visitors in danger.
"It is sickening that anyone would recklessly endanger people's lives by deliberately lighting a fire and we are pulling out all stops to catch the people responsible," Mr Zejbrlik said.
A total of 120 ifra-red equipped cameras, which can photograph faces and number plates, have been hidden in strategic places in north coast State Forests.
"Fire season has been declared early and with the forests and conditions as dry as they are, we are already on high bushfire alert, with additional firefighters and equipment on standby. So far we have managed to get these deliberately lit fires under control and we are doing whatever we can to put a stop to these arson attacks to prevent a deliberately lit fire taking hold and threatening local homes and communities," Mr Zejbrlik said.
Solid Fuel Fire Bans currently apply in all State forests around Coffs Harbour, meaning campfires and barbecues using wood, charcoal or other solid fuel are banned at all times.
Many parts of the state are expected to reach very high to severe fire danger this weekend, particularly in the northern part of the state, and Forestry Corporation advise people should take care in the forests and reconsider their plans for the weekend.