Time to be vigilant

As weather heated up at the weekend Latrobe Valley residents were prompted by emergency services to be on high alert and remain vigilant.

Proactively scouring bushland and fire prone areas, police are participating in Operation Fire Setter, which aims to prevent arson.

Keeping an eye on those who have lit fires throughout the year and reminding the community to report any suspicious behaviour, police and fire brigades are also urging parents to be wary of children’s behaviour around fire and keep them away from cigarette lighters and matches.

Latrobe Criminal Investigation Unit detective Ian Walk told The Express children should never have ignition sources in their possession.

“If kids are carrying cigarette lighters parents need to ask themselves why they are carrying them,” Detective Walk said.

“Take away that temptation so that if they’re in the bush playing with their mates or walking past a bin they don’t do something stupid.

“Our greatest issues are kids lighting vegetation fires and bin fires.”

Morwell Fire Brigade operations officer Shane Mynard said prior to Christmas two children set alight a household shed in Evans Street, Morwell.

“We need to keep vigilant on younger children, that can be in the household or in the bushland, either way it will have a devastating effect if it gets away. All big fires come from small fires,” Mr Mynard said.

Mr Mynard also wished to remind community members burning off without a permit was illegal and could incur prosecution if caught.

If you see anything suspicious in bushland or in high risk areas, phone Triple Zero to report the incident.