Overnight bushfire in NSW Hunter Valley deliberately lit, police say

Police say a bushfire which ignited close to homes in the NSW Hunter Valley overnight was deliberately lit.

Fire fighters were called to the blaze near the corner of Long Street and Old Maitland Road in Cessnock at around 2.30am.

Crews responded fast and managed to knock down the flames before any threat arose.


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Police said the fire had only burned through an area of 20×10 metres before it was extinguished.

It comes after fire crews were called to a suspicious fire in the same area last Saturday, 21 May.

Detectives are now investigating both blazes, which are both believed to have been deliberately lit.

Last month, a probationary member of the NSW Rural Fire Service was arrested in Cessnock and charged with deliberately lighting several bushfires in the area.

The 20-year-old man was allegedly caught red-handed at the scene of a fire he had allegedly lit at Lochinvar on Thursday 28 April.

He was nabbed by officers from Strike Force Billet, formed by the Property Crime Squad’s Arson Unit to investigate more than 100 suspicious bushfires in the Cessnock area between last August and this April.

The 20-year-old was charged with trespass and five counts of causing a fire, before later being charged with an additional four offences, including two counts of deliberately lighting scrub fires, damage property by fire, and making a false call to an emergency services number.

It’s alleged the probationary member of the NSW Rural Fire Service would start a fire and call emergency services to the scene while sitting back and watching the response from a distance.

Police are appealing for anyone who may have seen anything suspicious in the area around the time of the most recent blazes to come forward and contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.