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Media Release

Look out for arsonists in the Kimberley this bushfire season
Wednesday 25 June 2014 – 1:00 PM
A recent rise in suspicious bushfires in the Kimberley region has prompted a reminder to the public to keep a look out for suspicious activity and report it to authorities.
Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) Kimberley Superintendent Grant Pipe said deliberately lit bushfires can pose a significant threat to life and property and place an unnecessary burden on our emergency services.  
“We have seen a recent increase in suspicious or deliberately lit bushfires in the Kimberley region,” Superintendent Pipe said.
“Deliberately lit bushfires this time of year in the Kimberley can spread quickly and engulf thousands of hectares, making it challenging for emergency services and land managers to minimise their impact on communities.”
“The work of just one arsonist can threaten lives, destroy homes and direct resources away from other emergencies.”
WA Police Superintendent Mick Sutherland said it is often members of the public who first notice the suspicious behaviour of potential arsonists.
“Arson is a serious crime that poses a significant threat to the community with severe penalties applicable to anyone who wilfully starts a fire,” Superintendent Sutherland said.
“If you have observed a person or vehicle behaving suspiciously near an area where a bushfire occurred, record the details as accurately as possible and call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.”
“Information from the community is vital to successfully identifying arsonists and to help reduce the number of incidents of arson.”

A reward of up to $50,000 is available for information leading to the identification and conviction of people deliberately lighting fires in Western Australia.
The lighting of fires is a significant crime in Western Australia and attracts a penalty of up to $250,000 and a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
Media Contact: DFES Media and Corporate Communications 9225 5955


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