Arson alert

FIREFIGHTERS rushed to the scene of another deliberately lit fire in Cooma on Monday afternoon.

Police and fire authorities fear that a local arsonist is at work again with yet another fire in the North Ridge Reserve, bringing the tally to eight suspicious fires in the area.

Fire and Rescue NSW Cooma brigade Captain Chris Reeks said the fire was the same size as previous fires in the North Ridge area.

"One would assume we are dealing with the same person," Captain Reeks said.

"We, the police and the community are doing as much as we can.

"We have spoken to residents to keep an eye out.

"Residents are worried and justly so."

Two Fire and Rescue NSW Cooma town brigade fire trucks along with three Rural Fire Service Cooma brigade trucks raced to the scene of the fire which started in the same way as the previous fires in recent weeks.

A small amount of leaf litter and bark was pushed together at the base of a gum tree and set alight.

The fire started at about 6.30pm and burnt a small area of about five square metres before it was put out.

Monaro Local Area Police Command Inspector Tony Hill did not want to say anything that would jeopardise the police investigation into the fires, but said he would appreciate any information about the fires from members of the public.

"Although we are expecting cooler weather and some rain later this week, it is no time for complacency as we are still in the fire danger period," Inspector Hill said.

"I encourage people with information to contact the Cooma police on 64520099 or Crimestoppers 1800 333 000.

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