Teens to be charged NSW bushfire


Teens to be charged NSW bushfire 

23 September 2011

published bywww.skynews.com.au


Australia — Two teenagers will be charged with lighting a series of bushfires in the NSW Blue Mountains using homemade incendiary devices.

The pair, aged 19 and 13, were arrested at a home they shared in Cascade Street, Katoomba, on Friday morning, after tip-offs from members of the public.

They are believed to be friends.

The pair were questioned during the day and Acting Superintendent Robert Vella said they would be charged with causing malicious damage by fire.

A search warrant was being carried out at their home on Friday and could lead to additional charges, he added.

‘This has been an extremely quick result for police due to the assistance we have received from members of the public,’ Acting Supt Vella told AAP.

‘The public have been vigilant and have been reporting suspicious activity to us.

‘Just because we’ve locked up two people, it doesn’t mean that should stop.’

Thirteen fires have scorched bushland in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, since Sunday.

One threatened six homes at Leura and destroyed about 20 hectares of bushland.

It was contained on Thursday night after burning for four days.

Police believe the teenagers are not responsible for all the fires, with other suspects being hunted and several already being investigated.

It is alleged the pair started the fires using homemade chemical devices, the exact nature of which was not disclosed by police.

‘My message is if you think it’s cool to light a bushfire, you want to do something stupid, we will find you – it’ll just be a matter of time,’ Acting Supt Vella added.

Several relatively minor bushfires continue to burn in the NSW Blue Mountains, including at Wentworth Falls Lake, Katoomba and Leura.

All were under control on Friday afternoon.

Firefighters hope the weekend will bring further respite, with cooler conditions and some rain forecast.


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