Yet another suspicious blaze

FIRE crews spent the day yesterday mopping up after yet another suspicious fire while investigators combed the scene in the hunt for the firebug.

It’s the ninth deliberately lit fire since Saturday morning and the Rural Fire Service (RFS) warned this one had the potential to destroy a home.

Fanning the flames was a strong wind, making things even harder for local RFS volunteers on the ground.

“One property that could have come under threat, and Fire and Rescue NSW stood by that property which allowed a tanker to be freed to help fight the fire,” local RFS Superintendent Allyn Purkiss said.

The alarm sounded just before midnight on Tuesday, with five tankers rushing to the scene. Superintendent Purkiss said crews initially thought they didn’t stand a chance against the roaring winds.

“Under the south-easterly wind it threatened to push it up into the hills behind Moore Creek,” he said.

“The wind was quite strong. We had gusts up to 50km/h.”

Luckily, the 12-strong personnel were able to attack the fire aggressively and contain it to three hectares.

Some crews were stood down just before dawn before fresh crews took over the mop-up yesterday, dousing any hotspots that could potentially send embers swirling around and ignite another blaze.

But volunteers were left shaking their head at the suspicious fire.

“Again, it’s something that defies belief,” Superintendent Purkiss said.

“Whoever it is, they are getting more brazen. They’re out to get somebody, or they will if they keep going. The fuel being so dry, the temperature difference and humidity difference isn’t helping, so any ignition is burning very readily.”

Fire investigators examined the scene yesterday, as well as other ignition sites from earlier this week.

Now they need the public’s help to try and find who is behind the latest spate.

“We’re imploring residents to pay attention,” Superintendent Purkiss said.

“We urge them to take notice of any suspicious vehicles driving round. Getting registrations is very important.

“We just ask for their assistance to try and help track down who is responsible.”

Tamworth police have confirmed they are investigating the blazes.

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