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Intentionally or Recklessly Causing a Bushfire

– section 201A of the Crimes Act 1958

Intentionally or Recklessly Causing a Bushfire is when you light a bushfire and the fire gets out of control. Or you light a bushfire and do nothing to prevent it from spreading.
Intentionally or Recklessly Causing a Bushfire
  • Friends are camping in the bush, they make a fire and the fire gets out of control.
  • A man deliberately sets fire to vegetation on his neighbours farm.

  • You did not light a bush fire.
  • The fire was lit legally during fire prevention or land management.
  • You lit the fire, but the circumstances were so extraordinary that you were not reckless.
There are other possible defences, depending on the circumstances surrounding the alleged offending. Each matter is unique and requires an individual approach and strategy.

Questions in cases like this
  • Did you light a fire that got out of control?
  • Was someone else supervising the fire?

Maximum penalty and court that deals with this charge
The maximum penalty for this offence is level 4 imprisonment (15 years).

This charge may be heard in the Magistrates’ Court or the County Court.
 
The section that covers this offence is section 201A of the Crimes Act 1958.

What is the legal definition of Intentionally or Recklessly Causing a Bushfire?
The Prosecution must show that you intentionally or recklessly caused a bushfire, and were reckless as to the spread of the fire.

“Did you cause a bushfire?”

What can you be sentenced to for this charge?
Intentionally or recklessly causing a bushfire is a serious offence that could mean you serve a prison term, if found guilty. However, your sentence will depend on the extent of the damage caused by the bushfire and the circumstances surrounding your actions.