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Local man charged over Christmas Day Sunbury bushfire

A 47-year-old man has been charged over two bushfires that were lit in Sunbury in the past week.

The Sunbury man was charged with 13 offences over fires that were lit in the region on Christmas Day and December 29.

Hume Crime Investigation Unit and Arson and Explosive Squad detectives arrested the man on Thursday. 

On Friday, they charged the man, who is currently under police guard in hospital, with offences including reckless conduct endangering serious injury, criminal damage by fire, intentionally or recklessly cause a bushfire and lighting a fire on a total fire ban day. 

It is alleged the man deliberately lit the grassfire that started at Williams Rise on Christmas Day, as well as another fire on Racecourse Road on Tuesday, Sergeant Anthoula Moutis said. 

On Christmas Day, Sunbury residents first noticed plumes of smoke rising from Williams Rise around 12.20pm. 


Residents sitting down to Christmas lunches were forced to leave as the fast-moving grassfire was blown south into a ravine and towards homes along Settlers Way and Enterprise Drive. 

More than two dozen fire trucks along with water bombers battled the blaze on Christmas Day afternoon.

Emergency warnings were issued urging local Sunbury residents to evacuate.

The fire took more than five hours to contain but fire crews managed to prevent the loss of any houses. 

The man has been remanded and will front the Melbourne Magistrates' Court on Tuesday.