Man charged after allegedly lighting bushfire in Dorrigo last month

A man will appear in court today charged after allegedly lighting a bushfire on the Dorrigo Plateau in August.

The charges relate to an earlier fire in the Dorrigo area and not those currently burning.

Detectives from the Financial Crimes Squad's Arson Unit under Strike Force Tronto, with assistance from Coffs/Clarence Police District, commenced an investigation into a bushfire on Coramba Road, Dorrigo, just after 1.30pm on Monday August 19.

A section of bush, about 180 square metres was damaged, before it was extinguished by crews from the Rural Fire Service and NSW Fire and Rescue.

Following extensive investigations, a search warrant was executed at a home at Dorrigo about 7am yesterday where detectives seized several items including a mobile phone and 180g of cannabis.

A middle-aged man was arrested at the home and taken to Coffs Harbour Police Station.

He was charged with two counts of intentionally causing a fire and being reckless as to its spread, and two counts of possessing a prohibited drug.

The Dorrigo man was refused bail to appear at Coffs Harbour Local Court today.

Police are also reminding people that they could face penalties if found responsible for the lighting of bushfires - accidental or otherwise - including not putting out a fire they have lit.

Penalties relating to bushfires under the NSW Crimes Act, the Rural Fires Act, and Rural Fires Regulation include:

. Damaging property with the intention of endangering life - up to 25 years' imprisonment;

. Manslaughter - up to 25 years imprisonment;

. Starting a bushfire and being reckless as to its spread - up to 21 years' imprisonment;

. Lighting a fire when a total fire ban is in place - up to 12 months' imprisonment and/or a $5500 fine;

. Not putting out a fire that you have lit - up to 12 months imprisonment and/or a $5500 fine;

. Failing to comply with a bush fire hazard reduction notice - up to 12 months' imprisonment and/or a $5500 fine;

. Light or use a tobacco product within 15 metres of any stack of grain, hay corn, straw or any standing crop, dry grass or stubble field - up to a $5500 fine.

Strike Force Tronto, comprised of detectives from the Financial Crime Squad's Arson Unit, is the lead investigative body on suspicious or deliberately-lit bushfires which lead to death, serious injury or significant property loss.