NEW SOUTH WALES, Australia (KRON) – Two dozen people have been charged for deliberately settling bushfires in Australia.
According to the New South Wales Police Force, 24 people have been arrested since early November for deliberately setting bushfires.
The agency says this offense can result in up to 21 years in prison.
Additionally, police have taken legal action against another 159 people for 205 bushfire-related offenses since November.
Among them, 53 people reportedly did not comply with the state’s fire ban and 47 people are accused of discarding a lit cigarette or match on land.
Officials said 40 of those facing legal action are minors.
Authorities are still investigating the cause, origin and overall impact of the fires, many of which are still tearing through the country.
“As inquiries continue, police are appealing to the community to provide footage and/or images from phones, dashcam, or other devices, that show any of the fires in their infancy, even if only from a distance,” the NSW Police Force said in a statement.
Residents are encouraged to continue providing pictures and videos from phones, dash cameras, or other devices that show fires in their early stages to help police determine how those fires initially started.
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