Northern Territory Police continue to ask for community awareness to help reduce the risk of fires, especially in Darwin’s rural area.
Operation Paringa, a joint operation with Northern Territory Fire and Rescue Service and NT Police, was established last month to investigate and deter suspicious bushfires.
NTFRS Station Officer Tony Miles said “Since the commencement of Operation Paringa, we have seen a dramatic decrease in the number of suspicious fires in the rural area. This is in part to an increase in the presence of investigators and marked patrol vehicles. It is also due to the vigilance of residents who have been reporting suspicious activity to police.”
“We ask the community in the rural area to be especially vigilant this weekend with forecasted severe fire weather and a likelihood of total fire bans being in place across the weekend. Any suspicious activity should be reported to police or Crime Stoppers immediately. It is also a timely reminder that when a day of total fire ban is in place, no fires are permitted to be lit in open areas. No welding or grinding is permitted either.”
Anyone with information on suspicious fires can report the information to police on 131444 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. Callers may remain anonymous.
This information includes:
- The time and location you see fires
- The description of people acting suspiciously in the area where fires have been happening, or any unusual activity
- The description of vehicles entering or leaving the area during fires.
Information on active fires can be provided to the Northern Territory Fire Assistance Line on 8999 3473. If the fire places an immediate threat to life or property, call 000.
The penalty for the offence of deliberately lighting a bush fire is up to 15 years imprisonment.