More than two dozen people have been charged in the Australian province of New South Wales for allegedly starting brush-fires as authorities continue their effort to crack down on suspected arsonists since the onset of what’s become a catastrophic wildfire season for the nation, according to a Monday press release.
Since November 8, New South Wales Police have taken legal action against 183 people for fire-related offenses, including 24 individuals who have been charged over alleged deliberately-lit bushfires – a crime punishable by up to 21 years in prison.
Speaking to reporters Monday, Police and Emergency Services Minister David Elliot said that three additional people have been charged with alleged looting in areas affected by brush fires in New South Wales’ South Coast region.
“For anybody — regardless of their age or mental state – who wants to take advantage of their fellow citizens’ disadvantage, they should expect full force of the law,” Elliot said in a press conference. “I share the premier’s horror and the police’s horror at someone wanting to go and loot the home of an individual or a family who’ve potentially lost everything.”
Thousands of firefighters continue to battle the blazes that have burned millions of acres in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia, an area twice the size of Maryland. Nationwide, at least 25…