‘Ridiculous’: Crews battle to contain deliberately-lit fires
RURAL Fire Service teams from across the region have worked tirelessly over the weekend to contain a total of seven deliberately-lit fires in a nature reserve.
The arsonist, or arsonists, lit the fires on Saturday night along a stretch of road at Sherwood Nature Reserve, spanning from Nana Glen to Glenreagh.
NSW RFS District Manager Superintendent Stuart Watts confirmed crews managed to contain all the fires by this morning.
Superintendent Watts slammed the 'ridiculous behaviour' shown by the arsonists and said a police investigation is ongoing.
He added the RFS has received valuable information from the public and believe the fires may be linked to other anti-social activity that took place in the area at the time.
"These fires were really something we didn't need at this point in time," he said.
"They don't have a great understanding of just how dry the conditions are even though it's been all through the media. Radio, TV, print, it's everywhere."
Superintendent Watts thanked the volunteers for their assistance in containing the fires.
"It was just a great effort by the volunteers and the crews throughout the Clarence Valley and Mid North Coast who came to help," he said.
"It's been greatly appreciated."
Moonee Rural Fire Brigade took to Facebook to condemn the acts of arson.
"We have been flat out as it is with out of area deployments without this disgraceful act from some very silly individual or individuals," they wrote.
Last week it was announced the non-parole period for convicted arsonists will increase from five to nine years.
This comes months after the Government introduced a tougher penalty for the bushfire offence, increasing the maximum penalty from 14 to 21 years.