Twelve fires have been lit near Armidale in the last week and RFS Superintendent Steve Mepham believes they were deliberately lit.

PHOTO: Aaron Ray.

PHOTO: Aaron Ray.

POLICE are appealing for information on a spate of fires believed to be deliberately lit.

Firefighters have fought 12 fires along Waterfall Way in the past seven days.

It comes just 16 days after crews responded to multiple fires at Lower Creek, Cathedral Rock and Tingha.

Superintendent Steve Mepham from the NSW Rural Fire Service said that points of ignition had been identified for the fires and investigations were in the hands of a taskforce.

“At this stage I do believe they are linked, or someone else has gotten the idea,” he said.

“No one was injured in these fires but the reality is that someone could die, even if they didn’t arsonists can face up to 14-years in jail just for lighting the fires.”

Nine fires were lit at 10pm on Wednesday and crews were still trying to get the blazes under control as the sun rose.

Superintendent Mepham said the crews had located compelling evidence at the scene.

“It’s a crazy, crazy thing to do and it’s a major concern,” he said.

“We had ten trucks respond to the incident on Wednesday night because the fires were spread out.

“Our resources are tied up attending fires that have been deliberately lit and as a result we have less capacity to respond to other incidents.”

Three more fires had been set alight on Tuesday night near the Serpentine Nature Reserve at 5pm.

District Coordinator of the NSW Rural Fire Service Tim Butcher said volunteers had been overwhelmed by the spate of fires.

“These volunteers are here to protect their community and the person that is lighting these fires is putting the livelihoods of these volunteers at risk, if not their lives.”

Mr Butcher personally believes the fires were lit by someone with a grudge.

“It’s my personal opinion that these fires have been lit by someone with a grudge against the local community or the National Parks based on the location of all the fires,” he said.

Police urge anyone in the community with further information about the fires to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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