NSW volunteer charged with starting fires
A volunteer NSW firefighter has been charged with deliberately lighting more than 30 grass fires during the state's catastrophic Black Summer bushfires last summer.
The 30-year-old man, who is a volunteer member of the NSW Rural Fire Service, was arrested on Friday at a home in Whitton following a long investigation.
NSW Police allege the man deliberately lit more than 30 separate spot fires in the Whitton area, near Griffith, between November 2020 and January 2021.
He was charged with five counts of intentionally causing a fire and being reckless as to its spread.
A search warrant was executed at the home and police seized items for forensic examination.
He was denied bail and is due to face Wagga Wagga Local Court on Wednesday, after facing bail court on Saturday.
Footage of the arrest was released by NSW Police, showing the man being approached by officers at the rural home before he was taken into custody.
The Black Summer bushfires raged across Australia for months, claiming 33 lives, including nine firefighters, and destroying 10,000 homes and other structures.
More than 80,000 head of livestock were killed and millions of native plants and animals were lost.
A royal commission into the bushfires was held, making some 80 recommendations.
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