There has been a spate of deliberatly lit grassfires in the city in recent weeks.
The Armidale NSW Fire & Rescue brigade have been attending one to to two grass fires per week in our area.
Fire brigades have been over the last 12 months putting out grass fires. However there has been an increase in deliberately lit grass fires in the Armidale creekland area.
Recently two separate incidents in one week had six fire brigade units attend, one fire took four fire trucks to stop the fire. The other also deliberately lit, fire took another two trucks to put out.
This meant that the Armidale rural fire crews had to assist. The dry long grass travels quickly and are hard to contain and the local firefighters are attending at least two of these grass fires a week.
Stefan Peric a Qualified Firefighter from Alexandria, Sydney, is performing country relief for two months while a member is recovering from an injury.
"We are very concerned because as the incidents of grass fires now are one or two a week we are continuing into a very dry summer," Stefan Peric said.
"Essentially, it took four crews to stop one grass fire in the creeklands area. We noticed another one had started just further along the creek area. We saw a smoke plume, and had to get assistance from rural fire services," Fire fighter Peric said.
"So it took six crews some time to stop the fast travelling grass fires in town," Station Officer Matthew Goldman said.
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"These fires are occurring at a peak time, mid to late afternoon," Armidale Police Superintendent Tanner said. We are also very concerned about the risk to people and property as we approach summer."
"It is a very serious criminal offence to deliberately light a fire, with severe penalties," Mr Tanner concluded. We are encouraging parents to speak about the damage a fire can cause with the children.
The map above shows the locations of deliberately lit grass fires. Please contact police if you see anyone lighting a fire.