POLICE believe members of the community could be protecting the identity of the person who deliberately lit a fire in the Nundle State Forest.
What's worse is that it could have threatened lives, Oxley Police District Detective Sergeant Jason Darcy said.
"We know being a small community that everyone knows each other and that's why we believe some people might have information that might assist with this investigation and for some reason they're protecting them," he said.
The fire started October 27 and has gone through more than 1300 hectares of bush.
Forensic investigation pointed to the fire being deliberately lit, and police believe residents may have witnessed suspicious behaviour or taken footage.
Mr Darcy said he believes there is someone in the Nundle community with information that could help lead to prosecution.
"We don't want to narrow it down [the area] because any information could be that piece of the puzzle we need," he said.
"At the present climate with a number of bushfires around NSW it puts the community at risk and puts property at risk - we don't want these sorts of people walking around doing this sort of stuff."
Anyone with information about the fire around October 27 and 28 is urged to contact Tamworth Police Station on 6768 2999.