CFA responds to deliberately lit fires in Shepparton

By Ilias Bakalla

The Country Fire Authority has urged people not to start fires deliberately as they can devastate small farming communities.

District 22 commander Peter Bell responded to a number of deliberately lit fires in the Greater Shepparton area by advising the public to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity immediately.

“Deliberately lit fires can affect more than just one property, it's affecting people's livelihoods,” Mr Bell said.

“There are hefty fines if people are caught.

“On days of high temperatures and wind they (fires) can spread quickly.

“It is very, very dry out there and our resources have been stretched far and wide this season.”

Mr Bell said all the deliberately lit fires were being investigated by the CFA and the Shepparton Police Arson squad.

“Everyone has to be vigilant, if anyone sees a deliberate act out there, report it to 000,” Mr Bell said.

“If people see suspicious vehicles too it's important to get their registration number and report that.”

Mr Bell said faulty machinery and hay bales on farms could also cause fires.

“Everyone has to make sure their machinery is in working order,” Mr Bell said.

“Bales of hay can self-combust when they have not been left out to dry completely.

“They all get stacked on top of one another and the heat becomes so much that they self combust.

“Although it has been a tough season the volunteer and career staff have been terrific in helping out or contributing where they can.”

More on suspicious and deliberate fires

Police investigate suspicious fire in Girgarre

Man charged with lighting a fire in Rushworth