LATEST CFA statistics show firefighters have been called to at least 52 car fires in Ballarat this year, 15 more than at the same time last year.
The statistics, which log all vehicle fires attended to by the CFA – including fires from accidents - come as police and firefighters continue to be called to a number of deliberately lit car fires. The increase is reflected nationally.
Firefighters have attended 596 vehicle fires to date state-wide, compared to 498 this time last year.
The 2016 data shows District 15 firefighters attended 20 car fires in January, 10 car fires in February and 22 in March. In 2015, District 15 firefighters attended 15 cars fires in January, five in February and 17 in March.
A CFA media spokeswoman said the data did not include reports of false alarms. The majority of recorded car fires were of cars that had been fully engulfed.
Police and firefighters attended a car fire near Violet Grove, Wendouree at 11.30pm on Sunday night.
The fully engulfed car was completely destroyed and police are still investigating the cause of the fire.
District 15 operations officer Gavin Hope said the number of suspicious car fires attended by firefighters seemed to have increased as the number of thefts increased.
He urged those responsible to remember that every time a preventable fire occurred, the community was being endangered.
“Obviously (responding to fires) is what we do. But it is endangering the community with firefighters busy going to these. There is a chance of something happening when you have an emergency vehicle on the road,” Mr Hope said.
“Volunteers have to leave home to go to some of these car fires, most in remote locations that have dangerous roads.
“I went to one recently that had spread into a pine plantation. (We were) lucky with the weather conditions. If it had been a fire danger day it could have spread.”
He said firefighters also attended a percentage of LPG car fires that had the potential to explode. If you see a suspicious car fire stand back and report it to triple-0.