Four teenagers charged with lighting Blue Mountains bushfire
Image: RFS NSW
Three teenage boys and a teenage girl have been arrested and charged over starting Wednesday’s Blue Mountains bushfire.
Despite a Total Fire Ban being declared, the three 16-year-old boys allegedly built a fire at the base of a cliff near Wattlecliffe Drive at Blaxland.
At about 4pm, locals challenged the trio who tried and failed to smother the flames.
The blaze spread, with firefighters called in to extinguish it before it got out of control.
Police arrested all three boys at the scene and have since charged them with intentionally lighting the fire and recklessly allowing it to spread.
They have been granted conditional bail and will face court next month.
A 16-year-old girl has now been arrested and charged with the same offence.
She will also appear in court next month.
— NSW Police (@nswpolice) August 15, 2018
Elswehere, four volunteer firefighters have been hospitalised after their tanker rolled on the NSW Mid North Coast.
The RFS crew was fighting a blaze at Taree when the behicle rolled down a hill.
One of the firefighters has suspected spinal injures.
Thoughts are with #NSWRFS volunteers hurt when a bush fire tanker rolled over near Taree overnight. The tanker was working on the Caparra fire on the Mid Coast when it rolled down a hill. Four firefighters taken to hospital, one with suspected spinal injuries. #nswfires
— NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) August 15, 2018
On Thursday, 79 fires were burning across the state, with 32 deemed out of control.
RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons tells Alan Jones it’s “an ominous sign”, with summer still to come.
“This is another manifestation of the extraordinary drought conditions.
“We didn’t need temperature, all we had was strong winds, dry atmosphere and a super dry landscape which meant these fires were starting easily and they were spreading very, very quickly.”
Click PLAY below to hear the full update from the RFS Commissioner