Community urged to report fires

POLICE are investigating two deliberately lit fires in the New England and one in the Greater Hunter fire areas.

New England Rural Fire Service Superintendent Steve Mepham said RFS had to extinguish two small deliberately-lit fires on Wednesday night and yesterday morning.

On Wednesday night, a fire was spotted on the New England Highway at 9.30pm between Uralla and Armidale which five firefighters attended.

At 7am yesterday, six firefighters attended a fire on Long Swamp Rd in the south-east corner of Armidale and extinguished it.

Superintendent Mepham said the fact these fires were deliberately lit was concerning.

“It’s crazy to be even contemplating doing such a thing (lighting fires),” he said.

“There are stiff penalties and it’s endangering lives and property in the process. I’d encourage the community to keep their eyes open for suspicious activity.”

Liverpool Range RFS Inspector Andrew Luke said an illegal campfire was lit in the Towarri National Park about 9.30pm on Wednesday.

“Despite warnings and a total fire ban, a campfire was lit in a camping area,” he said.

“This causes us great concern and investigations are continuing.”

Inspector Luke said National Parks and Wildlife Service, police and RFS were working together to prevent fires being lit.

“There is an obvious need for these warnings,” he said.

The RFS is on heightened alert again and Inspector Luke said with the slightly eased conditions yesterday they hoped to give the firefighters a bit of a rest.

Firefighters remind community members not to assume someone else has already reported a fire, and if they see a fire to ring triple-0.

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