Police hunt for Lucas fire suspects

FIRE and police investigators are still searching for a person or group of people responsible for lighting a string of grass fires in the Lucas area last month.

But the Country Fire Authority has revealed that those responsible for lighting the fires had a good knowledge of fire conditions. 

CFA operations officer Gavin Hope said he found it intriguing two fires were lit in Lucas and Alfredton on February 25 and both started at the same time. 

“They seem to pick the right conditions and locations to light the fires,” Mr Hope said. 

Ballarat Police Criminal Investigation Unit (CIU) and fire investigators will continue to look into a series of grass fires between February 6 and 25.

CIU Detective Senior Constable Troy Wickham could not shed any light on whether police had suspects, but said he had spoken to several people in relation to the Lucas fires. 

“Investigations are ongoing,” Detective Senior Constable Wickham said. 

“We are encouraging anyone who does see anything that is not quite right to contact Crime Stoppers.” 

Detective Senior Constable Wickham advised people to take note of their surroundings if they witnessed a grass fire in the area. 

“Take note of the cars parked in the street and the people ... if you remember any of those details, ring us,” he said. 

Representatives from Crime Stoppers, Ballarat Police, CFA, Department of Environment and Primary Industries Victoria and Ballarat City Council yesterday presented a united front at Cuthberts Road in Lucas to recap the number of arson offences that occurred in Ballarat during summer. 

The first fire occurred on February 6 on Cuthberts Road, followed by fires on February 12 at Dyson Drive, February 15 on Ballarat-Carngham Road and two fires on February 25 along Remembrance Drive and Cuthberts Road about 2pm. 

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

kara.irving@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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