Wed. Dec 6th, 2023

Arson Unit detectives have charged a volunteer firefighter over allegedly deliberately lighting a fire near Uralla.

In September 2021, officers from New England Police District established Strike Force Nobility to investigate suspicious fires across the Uralla Shire local government area. More than 20 fires around Uralla, including suspicious grassfires on the New England Highway, Racecourse Road and Gostwyck Road, had sparked the investigation.

Detectives from the State Crime Command’s Financial Crimes Squad’s Arson Unit later took carriage of the investigation under Strike Force Tronto, with assistance from NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) investigators.

Following extensive inquiries, detectives arrested a 47-year-old man on East Street, Uralla, about 8am yesterday.

He was taken to Armidale Police Station, where he was charged with intentionally cause fire and be reckless as to its spread, and other related charges.

Police will allege in court that the man, who is a volunteer firefighter, deliberately lit a fire in grassland near Kingstown Road, Uralla, on Friday 16 September 2022.

It will be alleged the fire burnt through more than four hectares of grassland and a paddock before it was extinguished by NSW RFS firefighters.

The man was granted strict conditional bail and is due to appear at Armidale Local Court on Monday 5 June 2023.

Investigations are continuing.

Anyone with information that may assist Strike Force Tronto investigators is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report information via NSW Police social media pages.

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