The signs of a bushfire arsonist

If you live, work or visiting a bushfire-prone area then it’s important to be on the lookout for firebugs.

That’s why it is important to understand the types of suspicious behaviour and how to make a report – because an arsonist may be practicing in your area.

Remember that when you make a report to Crime Stoppers there is no obligation to say who you are, just share what you know.

Arsonists are known to often ignite small fires, practicing their methods before escalating to larger and potentially more deadly fires.

What may appear to be an insignificant fire may demonstrate an arsonist’s pattern of crime. If that behaviour is left undetected, the arsonist may continue lighting fires, which could lead to devastating results.

So, if you are out for a hike, run, drive or picnic, look out for:

  • People acting unusually, or wearing unusual clothing — they just don’t seem to fit. For example, not dressed for a trail walk, looking nervous when you pass.
  • If something or someone makes you stop and wonder what’s going on. Try and remember their age, sex, weight, height, hair colour or clothing.
  • A vehicle or driver looks out of place; take note of registration number, make, model, colour and any distinguishing features (such as dents, stickers).\
  • Some arsonists practice with small fires before igniting a larger one, so if you see signs of burnt out spot fires or anything suspicious then it is important to report it.

It is also important for people to know which number to call and why:

If you see suspicious behaviour currently happening then call Police on 131 444.

If you see a fire burning or smoke then call 000 for fire services

If you have information about someone who is deliberately lighting fires then call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report online at