Authorities say at least 25 people died and predict over 400 million animals are dead as fires consume many parts of Australia. This Australian summer has been another season of drought and high temperatures. The blame has been placed primarily on lightning and climate change but there was a large number of suspects arrested for arson as well. At least 24 suspects have been arrested for intentionally causing a bushfire in the past months.
Over 60 juveniles and 30 adults were charged in Queensland alone.
43 suspects were arrested in Victoria where the worst damage was done, some for firebug charges without criminal intent.
In Southern Australia and Tasmania at least 15 suspects were arrested for intentionally causing a bushfire and criminal damage by fire.
New South Wales has seen 20 fatalities and over 1,500 homes destroyed in the past few months. As more news outlets cover the arrests residents were shocked to find out that over 180 suspects have been charged with arson related charges. New South Wales Police Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys said “Police are well aware that we need to take action against people, whatever that might be, in this time it is particularly a heightened risk of fire activity and we’ve seen the devastation it causes”.