License article

Firebug goes on arson spree in Melbourne's suburban north

A firebug went on an arson spree around Melbourne's north on Wednesday night, lighting five separate grass and scrub fires.

The fires were lit within an hour and within one kilometre of each other around Dallas, Westmeadows and Broadmeadows.

Firefighters were called to the first fire at 9.39pm on Dallas Drive in Dallas. No sooner had they arrived they received another call for a fire on Raleigh Street, Westmeadows.

At 10.04pm a fire started on Hepburn Street, Dallas.

At 10.29pm there was a fire in Broadmeadows Valley Park, Westmeadows, and at 10.43pm there was another on Tempy Court, Broadmeadows.

None of the fires managed to take hold and all were extinguished within 15 minutes. Had weather conditions been worse, however, the situation could have escalated rapidly.


Police patrolled the area throughout the night, but did not find the suspected arsonist.

Meanwhile, authorities suspect multiple firebugs are targeting the Mornington Peninsula, putting the local community on edge.

Three fires have been lit on the Peninsula in the past fortnight, including one at Crib Point, which destroyed one house and damaged another.

Police believe the fires may be linked, or the result of copycat behaviour.

Several firebugs in Mornington are on a Victoria Police watch list and are regularly monitored during fire season.

The watch list comprises the names of 300 possible firebugs, whom police keep a close eye on with regular visits and highly visible patrols.

Research indicates firebugs are typically people who are  already disengaged with the community.

In the summer of 2014, the Country Fire Authority responded to nearly 600 suspicious grass and scrub fires that resulted in 39 people being charged with intentionally causing a bushfire – double the previous year's tally.

Anyone with information about the fires in Melbourne's north, or on the Peninsula is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.