Nearly 200 people have been arrested in Australia for deliberately lighting bushfires since November

Nearly 200 people have been arrested in Australia for deliberately lighting bushfires since November

While Australia is no stranger to yearly bushfires, the current one which has been raging since September started earlier and spread much further than previous ones, with fires blazing in every state.

The devastating fires have destroyed many parts of the country. And tragically, at least 25 people have died as a result of the fires, the lives of nearly 500,000 million animals have been taken and over 2,000 homes have been destroyed.

This heartwrenching footage shows a kind-hearted grandma rescuing a severely injured koala who was unable to escape the raging fires:

According to The Epoch Times, since the fires began, state authorities in Australia have arrested nearly 200 people for alleged arson. Precisely 183 people have been arrested in the states of Queensland, New South Wales (NSW), Victoria, South Australia, and Tasmania since the devastating bushfires began for 205 offenses related to lighting fires.

According to Melbourne University bushfire expert Janet Stanley, the majority of fires are lit by young people aged 12 to 24, but older men are also frequently caught.

"Older men are also prone to lighting fires. They often have a history of child abuse and neglect. They probably dropped out of school at a very early age, living on the edge of society, likely to be unemployed, not engaged in the community.

“In most cases, they don’t intend to cause this chaos, they might just like to make a fuss.

Credit: PA Images

In New South Wales, 24 were apprehended and charged with deliberately starting bushfires. Meanwhile, 53 people allegedly failed to comply with a total fire ban and face legal action as a result, and 47 individuals have been accused of failing to properly discard a lit cigarette or match outside, the Nine Network reports.

In Queensland, police confirmed that 103 fires had been deliberately started. They have identified 98 culprits - 67 of whom were juveniles.

This is why the state of New South Wales had little choice but to declare a week-long state of emergency:

According to the NSW Crimes Act, the Rural Fires Act, and Rural Fires Regulation, bushfire-related offenses can lead to 25 years in prison for damaging property with the intention of endangering life and 21 years in prison for starting a bushfire and being reckless with regards to its spread.

Those who are convicted of lighting a fire when a total fire ban is in place could be given a prison sentence of up to 12 months and/or a $5,500 fine.