Geelong Advertiser

Plea to report suspicious activity as 35C tipped


VICTORIANS are being urged to look out for suspicious activity around high-risk fire areas as hot conditions return this weekend.

State Emergency Services Minister Jane Garrett says the Country Fire Authority has already responded to more than 170 suspicious fires across the state since December.

“Each summer, fire authoritie­s respond to an average of 54,000 bushfires across the country, up to half of which are deliberate­ly lit or start in suspicious circumstan­ces,” Ms Garrett said yesterday.

Victoria has some of Australia’s toughest penalties for bushfire-related offences, including up to 25 years jail when a fire leads to death.

Geelong’s temperatur­e is expected to hit 30C today, and 35C tomorrow.

The call came as Western Australia Premier Colin Barnett said his state needed to have more controlled burns to curb the risk of outof-control bushfires.

Firefighte­rs have been working for a week to save lives and homes in the state’s south.

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