POLICE are urging Mornington Peninsula residents to be vigilant about fire danger, despite a wetter outlook for summer.
They are gearing for the annual Operation Safeguard, which aims to deter or reduce the impact of intentional and recklessly lit fires.
The most common causes of recklessly lit fires include burning off, campfires, car exhausts and machinery, use of tools such as angle grinders and welding equipment, bonfires and flares and farming machinery such as harvesters.
While recklessly lit fires are considered by many to be accidental, the outcome is often the same as arson, with potential for injury, loss of life or property.
Anyone found guilty of recklessly or intentionally causing a bushfire can face significant fines and penalties of up to 15 years’ imprisonment.
Police are reminding the community of their role in preventing bushfires and encourage people to speak up and report any reckless or suspicious behaviour.
Anyone who sees suspicious behaviour should call 000 as it is occurring. Anyone with information should contact Crime Stoppers 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential report to crimestoppersvic.com.au
Operation Safeguard will run until March.