SA POLICE is renewing its focus on the threat of bushfires, with the fire danger season well and truly underway.
This week, it launched Operation NOMAD, which focuses on deliberate, reckless and negligent acts that may cause a bushfire.
Patrols will be deployed on total fire ban days - those with severe, extreme and catastrophic fire danger ratings - throughout the season.
These patrols are not only proactively detecting risky and deliberate behaviour, they are also a source of education for the community to reduce the risk of a bushfire.
For the operation commander, Assistant Commissioner Noel Bamford, Operation Nomad is not just a focus on known arsonists.
"While the operation continues to focus on known arsonists within our community, there is also a strong focus on preventing avoidable bushfires that have the potential to cause loss of life and significant damage," he said.
"Analysis of bushfire activity has identified the majority of bushfires during the season are classified as non-suspicious and occur on non-fire ban days.
"This can be anything from use of power tools or farming equipment when restrictions are in place, to parking a hot car on long grass during summer."
During Operation Nomad 2018-2019 there were a total of 556 fires classified under NOMAD. The overwhelming majority were non-suspicious fires.
- 406 non-suspicious incidents
- 63 deliberate incidents
- 44 suspicious incidents
- 43 undetermined incidents
Last year there were 21 people apprehended for a range of offences, but 310 expiation notices were issued.
These expiations were made up of 172 relating to lighting or maintaining a fire during the fire danger season as well as 77 expiations for dropping or throwing a burning object or material from a vehicle. These generally relate to cigarettes discarded from car windows.
"Police will continue to monitor the 81 persons of interest during this year's fire danger season, six of whom are currently incarcerated," AC Bamford said.
"Bushfire prevention is a community effort and while SA Police will proactively monitor and detect risky and deliberate bushfire activity, we rely on the information for the public to keep our community safe."
Since the beginning of the 2019-20 operation, there have been six reports, three cautions of adults and 23 expiation notices issued.
These include lighting or maintaing a fire on total fire bans days, dropping or throwing burning objects from vehicles, dropping or throwin burning object that may come in contact with flammable material, dropping or throwing any material capable of causing a fire in the country and lighting a fire in a parks or wildlife area, contrary to a ban from the director.
- Details: Report any suspicious activity or activity likely to increase the risk of bushfire on 131 444.