A trio of 12-year-old boys will go to a youth conference under the Young Offenders Act for after they allegedly lit a fire at a reserve in New South Wales in Australia.
According to a report by The Sydney Morning Herald, two of the kids are allegedly being held responsible for lighting a grass fire at a reserve in Koonawarra in Wollongong at approximately 10.20 am on the morning of Sunday, December 1.
Meanwhile, a third child was cautioned, after he allegedly lit a fire behind a sports club on McGregor Avenue in the Wollongong suburb of Warilla on the same day.Earlier this year dramatic footage of a woman rescuing a koala from a fire went viral on social media:
The minors will attend a conference to reflect upon their actions and hopefully be rehabilitated, without having to go to court.
Commenting on the acts of arson, Lake Illawarra Police District Inspector Brian Pedersen stated: "It is quite distressing that young people, in particular, are continuing to ignore the message about how dangerous fires can be. We are urging the whole community to be vigilant and report any suspicious behavior."
He added: "Information provided to police from members of the public can help us identify and suppress firebugs before they start lighting. I want to urge members of the community; if you see something, say something. If you have suspicions at all and wish to report a crime, don't take the risk – contact police or Crime Stoppers."
2019 has been a catastrophic year for wildfires in Australia, with swathes of New South Wales being left burnt and charred. According to The Mail, approximately two million hectares of land have been burnt since July. Around 7000 fires have raged across the state, which have left six people dead and destroyed 673 homes.
The Rural Fire Service has also provided an update for NSW residents, writing that: "There are 125 fires, 54 are not contained. There are more than 2,100 personnel in the field. Strong winds are continuing in many parts of the state. Smoke is lingering in many areas and is likely to continue into Tuesday."
Meanwhile, a severe fire danger warning has been issued in Capricornia, Central Highlands and Coalfields, Darling Downs and Granite Belt, Wide Bay, and Burnett and Southeast Coast for this week.