A 14-YEAR-OLD boy has been charged with deliberately lighting a bushfire that burnt through 175ha of land, destroying everything in its path, and cut power to an entire town in northern NSW.
Crews were called to the blaze near Plains Station Road at Tabulam, in the state’s Northern Rivers region, shortly after midday on Saturday.
They arrived to find a large, out of control fire burning on a property roughly 65km west of Casino.
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It took five ground crews and five aircraft almost six hours to bring the blaze under control, but not before it scorched 175ha of land.
The Bruxner Highway also needed to be closed after the Tabulam Bridge caught alight and the towns only RFS tanker was engulfed by fire.
A number of sheds, power poles and fences were also destroyed before the fire was officially brought under control at around 6pm.
The entire town of Tabulam, home to around 470 people, was put on standby for evacuation during the emergency.
A 14-year-old boy was arrested and taken to Tabulam Police Station but the station had no power or internet access so he was transported to the police station in nearby Casino.
There, the child was charged with charged with intentionally cause fire and be reckless as to its spread, and leave fire lit/used in open air without extinguishing it.
The boy has been released on conditional bail and will appear in a children’s court on Wednesday, September 5.
Saturday’s fire was the second significant blaze in the Tabulam area this week.
A 52-year-old man remains before the courts charged with lighting a fire which destroyed 12ha of bushland on Wednesday.
You can report also information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers by calling 1800 333 000 or via nsw.crimestoppers.com.au 24 hours per day. Crime Stoppers is a registered charity and community volunteer organisation.