WANGARATTA police are out to catch the firebugs responsible for six fires in the city early yesterday.
The fires were the third apparently deliberate attack in the North East in a month.
Wangaratta’s Detective Sen-Constable Paul Campbell said four wheelie bins, a dumpster and garden beds had been set alight at the Wangaratta Magpies’ clubrooms in Evans Street.
He said the fires had been lit some time between 2am and 6am.
With the fires burning so close together and the time they were lit has led police to believe they were deliberate.
Sen-Constable Campbell said only the bins and garden beds had been damaged.
Yesterday’s incident followed a small grass fire that was lit on the side of the Great Alpine Road at Gapsted early this month and a fire at a West Wodonga playground last weekend.
With the fire season about to start, police urged the public to be on the look-out for arsonists.
They also warned firebugs they faced heavy consequences.
“Arson is a very serious offence and it’s treated that way by not only police, but also by the court system,” Sen-Constable Campbell said.
He said police would patrol specific areas and target those they suspected of being firebugs.
“We’ll identify areas of interest and we’ll conduct more patrols,” he said.
“If we see a pattern, it could enable us to be pro-active and stop it before it happens.”
Sen-Constable Campbell said police would check those people with a history of lighting fires and areas where fires had been lit in the past.
“That could be areas along the river, in parks and gardens,” he said.
“We’ll target those areas and if there’s a pattern, we’ll work out what happened.”
Sen-Constable Campbell warned those who deliberately lit fires that they were committing an offence that carried serious penalties.
“Something they might think is fun at the time leads to serious damage and people being injured,” he said.
“It doesn’t take much for what was deemed a little bit of fun to get out of hand.”
Anyone who sees suspicious behaviour should phone triple-0.
Those with information on yesterday’s fires should phone Wangaratta police on (03) 5723 0888.