Lake Macquarie Police District officers seek community help with investigations into four bushfires around Morisset on November 12

MORISSET BLAZES: Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys said police were investigating several bushfires around the state which they suspect were deliberately lit on Tuesday. Picture: Kate Geraghty
MORISSET BLAZES: Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys said police were investigating several bushfires around the state which they suspect were deliberately lit on Tuesday. Picture: Kate Geraghty

Police are seeking public help with their investigation into four bushfires in the Morisset district which they suspect were deliberately lit yesterday during the state-wide total fire ban.

Police said the fires started around 4.30pm on Tuesday.

They are urging anyone who may have seen anything suspicious, or anyone who has information about the fires, to contact Morisset police station or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Police are also investigating a number of suspicious blazes across the state yesterday.

These include fires at Katoomba, Moonbi, Berkeley, Balgownie, South Turramurra and Loftus.

Inquiries are being conducted by investigators from individual police area commands, and police districts, assisted by specialist officers attached to Strike Force Tronto and the Rural Fire Service.

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The State Crime Command's Arson Unit established Strike Force Tronto 2001 to investigate suspicious or deliberately-lit bushfires which lead to death, serious injury or significant property loss.

State Emergency Operations Controller, Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys, praised NSW residents for working together and supporting each other so positively during the crisis.

"It has been heartening to see the community working together as we experienced catastrophic fire conditions over the past few days," Deputy Commissioner Worboys said.

"Now we need help from the community again - this time to assist our detectives who are beginning investigations into the cause of fires suspected of being deliberately lit across several police area commands and police districts."

Police today reminded the public of the total fire ban in effect across NSW after several people around the state were issued with court attendance notices for allegedly lighting barbecues and, in one case, allegedly lighting a small grass fire to dispose of waste.

Deputy Commissioner Worboys said that it was disappointing that the actions of a few had the potential to impact negatively on the rest of the community.

"The vast majority of people really banded together and supported each other during a time of catastrophic danger. It's unacceptable that the actions of these few individuals endangered the lives and property of others, either intentionally or through ignorance," he aid.

"Moving forward into the bushfire season, and as police investigate these offences, we would urge the community to keep up the good work and continue to provide assistance where possible."

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