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Teen arrested over ‘copycat’ fire

Saturday’s (August 18) fire at Tabulam burnt out more than 175 ha before being brought under control. Photo RFS

An RFS fire truck has been damaged and an estimated 175 hectares of land has been burnt out in a deliberately-lit fire near Tabulam on Saturday (August 18).

A 14-year-old boy has been arrested in what appears to be a copycat arson attack, after a 52-year-old man was charged with lighting a different fire in the same area on Wednesday (August 15).

Emergency services were called to a property on Plains Station Road at Tabulam, 65km west of Casino, about 12.30pm following reports of an out-of-control fire.

The RFS responded with five ground crews and five aircraft while residents of the Tabulam township were put on standby for evacuation.

The Bruxner Highway was closed when the Tabulam Bridge caught alight, and the Tabulam RFS tanker was damaged before the fire was brought under control about 6pm.

An estimated 175ha of land has been burnt out with fences, power poles and sheds destroyed.

Investigators from the Richmond Police District initiated inquiries and arrested the 14-year-old boy.

He was initially conveyed to Tabulam Police Station but due to the fire, the station had no power or internet facilities so he was taken to Casino Police Station and charged with intentionally causing a fire and being reckless as to its spread, as well as leaving fire alight in the open air without extinguishing it.

The boy was granted conditional bail to attend a children’s court on Wednesday September 5.

 


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