Prevention activities near you
Information on specific prevention activities are detailed below.
National Forum for the Prevention of Bushfire Arson
This forum brings together a range of experts in a national effort to reduce the number of deliberately lit bushfires in Australia. Established in 2009, participants of the forum include representatives of the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council, the Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre, the Australian Institute of Criminology and state and territory police services and fire agencies.
You can find out more about the forum on the National Forum for the Prevention of Bushfire Arson page.
National arson notification capability
This new capability utilises the National Police Reference System – an existing database of criminal record information – to make it quicker to identify persons convicted and charged with or suspected of arson-related offences. This is achieved by placing 'Arson Warning Flags' against appropriate criminal records which will help alert police to possible arsonists in a particular area. This capability will also make it easier for police to let their counterparts around Australia know whenever they are aware of a convicted or suspected arsonist. The capability was developed following the National Forum for the Prevention of Bushfire Arson in 2010, in collaboration with state and territory police.
View the media release launching the National arson notification capability.
Bushfire arson prevention handbook
This handbook was developed as part of a five year project by the Australian Institute of Criminology and funded by the Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre. Launched in 2010, the handbook is a resource for local organisations, particularly fire agencies and the police, when developing community-based bushfire and bushfire arson prevention strategies.
You can access the Bushfire arson prevention handbook on the Australian Institute of Criminology website.
Wildfire arson investigation management course
This course provides specialist investigators with the skills to manage serial wildfire arson events and to identify those responsible. With funding from the Australian Government, the ACT Emergency Services Agency has been instrumental in leading this national initiative. Two courses were delivered at the Australian Emergency Management Institute in 2012.
You can find out more about the Wildfire arson investigation management course on the Australian Institute of Emergency Management website.
For more information contact Superintendent Richard Woods of the ACT Rural Fire Service at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Treatment program for bushfire arsonists
Research has begun on the development of a treatment program for bushfire arsonists and fire-setters. Bond University will use Australian Government funding to assess a sample of Australian arsonists and provide information about psychological processes and psychopathology that underlie the behaviour. The results of the research will inform the development of a new treatment model that can be applied in both prisons and community-based settings.
Australian Capital Territory
Co-ordinated Bushfire Arson Investigation and Prevention
The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) has in place co-operative arrangements to prevent and investigate bushfire arson. The ACT Rural Fire Service, ACT Fire and Rescue and ACT Policing share information and intelligence relating to bushfire occurrences around the territory. Additionally, training and information is provided to frontline fire crews on ways to identify deliberate fire-lighting and those responsible. A number of fire service officers are accredited in nationally recognised bushfire investigation qualifications and investigate suspicious bushfires with crime scene officers from ACT Policing.
ACT Policing also have a number of dedicated ‘rural patrol’ pfficers who work closely with rural fire service brigades to share on-ground information about where deliberate fire-lighting is occurring and reinforce information and intelligence avenues. Finally, specialist officers from ACT Policing Intelligence Section along with Emergency Services Agency Spatial Services officers provide additional support in the ACT arrangements to prevent bushfire arson.
Bushfire Investigation Training
Staff from the ACT Rural Fire Service have provided bushfire investigation training to European firefighters and police in recent years. This training has been the first opportunity for fire and police services in Northern Europe to gain skills of this type. Australia’s ‘Wildfire Investigation Management Courses’ are modelled on a United States and Canadian-developed qualification, which is internationally recognised.
For more information about police and fire agencies in the Australian Capital Territory, visit the following websites:
New South Wales
New South Wales Bushfire Arson Taskforce
This taskforce develops programs and strategies to reduce the incidents of bushfire arson throughout New South Wales. Established in 2009, the taskforce includes representatives from the New South Wales Police Force, New South Wales Rural Fire Service, New South Wales Fire and Rescue, National Parks and Wildlife, local government and the Department of Juvenile Justice.
Fire prevention strategy tool kit
This tool kit is designed to address the need for a combined agency approach to develop preventative measures which reduce the risk of fire and arson to the community. The tool kit is an initiative of the New South Wales Inter Agency Arson Committee with representatives from New South Wales Rural Fire Service, Fire and Rescue New South Wales and New South Wales Police Force.
You can access the Fire prevention strategy tool kit on the NSW Rural Fire Service website.
Operation Lucifer: A New South Wales whole of government approach to prevent bushfire arson
This program involves the development of arson prevention strategies in areas identified as having arson related issues. It includes community education programs, juvenile education programs, targeted patrolling and other crime prevention strategies. The program has been established across five local government areas with one area seeing a sixty per cent reduction in ignitions. The program is a joint initiative of the New South Wales Rural Fire Service, New South Wales Police Force, New South Wales Fire and Rescue, National Parks and Wildlife, local government and the Department of Juvenile Justice.
For more information about police and fire agencies in New South Wales, visit the following websites:
Information coming soon.
For more information about police and fire agencies in the Northern Territory, visit the following websites:
Fight Fire Fascination Program
This program targets children and young people who have shown an ‘unhealthy interest’ in fire, but have not become the subject of police or judicial attention. The program is based on education and development, with trained firefighters visiting children and their families at home to promote an awareness of fire safety.
Find out more about the Fight Fire Fascination Program on the Learn2Live website.
Bushfire investigation training
The Queensland Fire and Rescue Service have a nationally accredited bushfire investigation training program for staff and volunteers, and currently have sixty-four staff and volunteers trained as bushfire investigators.
You can access more information about the bushfire investigation training on the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service website.
For more information about police and fire agencies in Queensland:
Operation Nomad began as a local initiative in 1992 and was established statewide in 1999. The focus of the program is on preventing fire ignitions on high-risk days, by providing a highly visible policing presence in high-risk bushfire areas and targeting people identified as having a propensity to start fires. Police visit suspected and convicted arsonists on days of high fire danger, and use automated number plate recognition to alert and identify them of suspects driving in fire danger zones. Police also undertake analysis and mapping to identify trends in fire-setting and coordinate investigative responses.
You can find out more about the Operation Nomad on the South Australia Police website.
Fire Prevention Strategic Alliance
The Fire Prevention Strategic Alliance is an initiative of the South Australia Police and is made up of representatives of the South Australian Country Fire Service, the Metropolitan Fire Service, the State Emergency Service, Forestry South Australian, South Australian Water, the South Australian Farmer’s Federation, the Local Government Association and the Department of Environment and Heritage. Each member has a broader fire prevention role and participates in the alliance to ensure effective and efficient inter-agency collaboration to coordinate and promote innovative fire prevention activities and to reduce the number of fires in South Australia.
The Juvenile Fire Lighters Intervention Program
This program helps families overcome the problem of children's unsafe fire-lighting and experimentation. The program aims to reduce the number of deaths, injuries and the millions of dollars of property damage caused by juvenile fire-setting. Specially trained firefighters work with children and parents in the program.
You can find out more about the Juvenile Fire Lighters Intervention Program on the South Australian Metropolitan Fire Service website.
For more information about police and fire agencies in South Australia, visit the following websites:
The Juvenile Fire Lighters Intervention Program
This program is for children who engage in unsafe fire-lighting behaviour, either in the home or elsewhere. Specially trained firefighters teach participating children through role play, discussion and other interactive activities and aim to instil a respect for fire and an understanding of the negative consequences of fire-lighting.
You can find out more about the Juvenile Fire Lighters Intervention Program on the Tasmanian Fire Service website.
For more information about police and fire agencies in Tasmania, visit the following websites:
Victoria Police, as part of Operation Firesetter, conduct highly visible patrols to prevent and apprehend arsonists. Investigations into suspicious fire activity and bushfire arson persons of interest are also undertaken. Operation Firesetter is a state-wide coordinated initiative that intensifies during periods of high fire danger.
The Juvenile Fire Awareness and Intervention Program
This program aims to prevent loss of life, injury and property damage caused by a young person’s fire-play or fire-setting. The intervention program is delivered by trained firefighters from the Metropolitan Fire Brigade and the Country Fire Authority.
You can find out more about the Victorian Juvenile Fire Awareness and Intervention Program on the MFB website. .
Bushfire investigation courses
Each year the Victorian Country Fire Authority in conjunction with the Department of Sustainability and Environment conducts a number of bushfire investigation courses and bushfire investigation skills maintenance courses.
For more information about police and fire agencies in Victoria, visit the following websites:
Strikeforce Vulcan aims to reduce and prevent the incidence of bushfires initiated through arson, reckless behaviour, inattention or indifference by deterring and disrupting offenders. Strikeforce Vulcan identifies and targets prolific priority arsonists and rates them as high, medium or low-risk of re-offending. Police also conduct dedicated patrols across the metropolitan area, including a number of high-risk locations identified as being prone to deliberately lit bushfires.
You can find out more about Strikeforce Vulcan on the WA Police Online News website.
Arson Information Network
This network is a multifaceted information and intelligence sharing network that uses management and prevention strategies to combat arson. Bringing together the resources of the Fire and Emergency Services Authority, Western Australia Police and the Department of Environment and Conservation, the network ensures that firefighters and the community pass all critical information about bushfire arson to the police.
You can find out more about the Arson Information Network on the Western Australia Police website.
Extinguish arson intelligence database
This database enables real-time spatial and temporal interrogation of all fire incidents occurring throughout Western Australia. The database:
- identifies developing fire trend locations for deliberate and suspicious fires
- provides data plotting, reporting and sharing of information with key stakeholders
- identifies linkages between deliberate and suspicious fires indicating that a serial arsonist is operating within a specific area
- ensures a real time response to deliberate and suspicious fires.
The Juvenile and Family Fire Awareness Program
This confidential education and support program is for children between the ages of six and sixteen who have been involved in fire-lighting. The program is delivered by specially trained firefighters in the family home and assists children to understand fire behaviour, fire safety and the legal implications of arson.
You can find out more about the Juvenile and Family Fire Awareness Program on the Western Australian Department of Fire & Emergency Services website.
Bushfire Investigation Team
The Bushfire Investigation Team is a multi-agency taskforce which analyses fire incident data collectively to identify arson hotspot locations. In a targeted approach, the taskforce then develops and implements mitigation strategies, in conjunction with local stakeholders, to reduce the number of suspicious and deliberate fires. The taskforce is a joint initiative of the Fire and Emergency Services Authority of Western Australia’s Fire Investigation and Analysis Unit, Western Australia Police Arson Squad and the Department of Environment and Conservation.
For more information about police and fire agencies in Western Australia, visit the following websites: