Australia– Illegal fireworks were detonated during this week’s spring heatwave, sparking a scrub fire in state forest near townships deemed high fire risk areas.
CFA and Parks Victoria were yesterday called to a fire in the Wombat State Forest in the Macedon Ranges, caused by a large amount of fireworks police found dumped in the bushland.
The fire was contained to 1000 square metres.
The forest is near the townships of Woodend, Macedon and Mt Macedon, which have all been included on a list of 52 Victorian towns classed as most ‘at risk’ from bushfire.
Police believe the same people were responsible for a fire in the same area on the weekend, when temperatures climbed into the mid-30s, which was ignited when a blue wheelie bin packed with explosives was blown up.
A Victoria Police spokeswoman said fireworks had also been used in the Macedon Ranges on Tuesday when some were lit on the surface of the Melbourne-Lancefield Road in Clarkefield about 1.45pm, and on August 16 when two large explosions occurred in Gormon and Coffey roads in Bullengarook.
Banned fireworks are also suspected to have been the cause of an explosion near an aged care home, on a building site in New Gisborne on June 27.
Senior Sergeant Ryan Iriwn said yesterday’s blaze in the Wombat State Forest fire could have grown into a threatening bushfire.
“The person (or persons) responsible for these fires are placing the community at severe risk,” he said.
“We believe someone in the area will have knowledge of who is committing these acts and we urge those people to come forward with information.”
Anyone with information has been asked to contact CrimeStoppers on 1800 333 000 or go to www.crimestoppers.com.au