A YOUNG man has been arrested and charged after he was allegedly caught red-handed lighting multiple fires in the NSW Hunter region.
Firefighters were called to the Pacific Highway at Belmont at around 4.30pm on Saturday following reports of two fires burning in a stormwater drain.
Then, around an hour later fire crews were called to nearby bushland behind a hardware store, also along the Pacific Highway, where a cluster of small fires were burning.
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While extinguishing the fires, crews allegedly observed a man acting suspicious nearby, and contacted police.
Officers swooped on the area and arrested the 26-year-old man after chasing him through nearby school grounds.
He has since been charged with two counts of intentionally lighting a fire, resisting arrest, and trespass.
He was refused bail and is due to appear at Newcastle Local Court today.