With summer officially beginning, and the Fire Danger Seasons kicking off in several areas of the state, SA Police are focusing efforts on responses to the threat of bushfires through Operation Nomad.
Operation Nomad is a focus on deliberate, reckless and negligent acts that may cause a bushfire. Patrols are deployed on total fire ban days 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.
Assistant Commissioner Noel Bamford said this operation focused on known arsonists within the community, but also had a strong focus on preventing those bushfires started accidentally and that could be avoided.
"Police will continue to monitor the 88 persons of interest during this year's fire danger season, this includes those currently incarcerated who may be released in coming months," he said.
Police, Emergency Services and Correctional Services Minister Vincent Tarzia, said State Emergency Service personnel have once again boosted SAPOL's resources for Operation Nomad.
"We're ensuring as many eyes as possible are watching firebugs over summer," he said.
"People who intentionally light fires are scumbags. We know how devastating bushfires can be in SA and must do everything in our power to keep the community safe."
"Whether bushfires are deliberately lit or accidental, we all have a responsibility to protect lives and property."
Commander- SAPOL Support Dave O'Shannessy said it was great to have SES personnel supporting our SA Police colleagues again this year.
"It shows how collaborative our emergency services are and how well we work together," he said.
Last year there were 526 Operation Nomad fire incidents with 46 determined to be deliberately lit first and 61 suspicious.
Eleven people were arrested for Nomad related fire offences and 14 people were reported and 33 fines were issued.
Fines mostly related to the lighting or maintaining a fire during the fire danger season and or cause bushfire intentionally or recklessly.
"Many fires which started last year were not criminally motivated and classified as non-suspicious - 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," Assistant Commissioner 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."
Country Fire Service state duty commander Brett Loughlin said the final areas in the state would be starting their fire danger season from December 1, and everyone needed to be mindful of the rules and regulations that come into effect.
"There are strict rules around the use of everyday items - such as barbecues, pizza ovens, power tools or spark-producing equipment - that change on a Total Fire Ban Day," he said.
"It's everyone's responsibility to know their obligations to keep themselves and their communities safe.
"Bushfire risk may not be as high this summer as in some years, but bushfires happen every summer in Australia and even short periods of hot and windy weather will raise the fire risk especially in areas that have seen a lot of vegetation growth during spring. It takes the slightest spark to start a catastrophic bushfire."
If you see anything suspicious or activity that increase the risk of bushfire, you should contact the police assistance line on 131 444 or to report anonymously, phone Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
Helpful details to provide police include the location and people involved descriptions of those present, any vehicle details and anything else that may assist the responding patrol or investigators.
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