AFP, published on Sunday, November 17, 2019 at 10:03 pm
An Australian has been charged for intentionally lighting a fire to protect his cannabis plants, unleashing a fire that firefighters have been fighting for three days, authorities said Sunday, as the country's eastern coast is ravaged by forest fires. .
Four people died and more than 300 homes were destroyed in a week in these fires that devastated more than one million hectares.
Police reported that a 51-year-old man was brought before a judge and charged for setting a fire on his cannabis cultivation in the Ebor area of New South Wales.
This man was intending to clear the flames of the surrounding area of his plantation, and thus burn the plants that could catch fire in the event of a forest fire, but he lost control of the fire, according to the police.
The Ebor fire, which ravaged 10,000 hectares, continues to burn three days later.
The authorities believe that arsonists are responsible for many fires raging in this state or in neighboring Queensland, asking the inhabitants any information that would identify officials.
On Sunday, there were still 130 active fires in these two states, many of which are already suffering from drought.
After a slight respite this weekend, the authorities fear a deterioration of the situation early next week.
Such fires occur every year on the huge island-continent in spring and summer. But this year, the fire season has been particularly early and violent and could be one of the worst recorded in the country.