Causing a Bushfire Key Facts

Maximum Penalty

  • There is no differentiation between aggravated or basic, and in South Australia the maximum penalty for causing a bushfire is 20 years imprisonment.

Possible Defences

  • Lawful Excuse
  • Intention

What Is Causing a Bushfire?

In South Australia, you will be guilty of the offence of causing a bushfire under section 85B of the Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935 if you cause a bushfire by intending to cause a bushfire; or being recklessly indifferent as to whether his or her conduct causes a bushfire.

A bushfire is a fire that burns, or threatens to burn, out of control causing damage to vegetation (whether or not other property is also damaged or threatened).

Our criminal lawyers at Caldicott Lawyers are experts in all criminal matters, especially arson. 

What Is The Maximum Penalty For Causing a Bushfire?

For arson, there is no differentiation between aggravated or basic, and in South Australia the maximum penalty for causing a bushfire is 20 years imprisonment.

What Are The Possible Defences For Causing a Bushfire?

Lawful Excuse

You had a lawful excuse for the lighting of the bushfire. An offence is not committed if the bushfire only damages vegetation (or other property) on either or both of the following: 

                  (i)         the land of the person who causes the fire;

                  (ii)         the land of a person who authorised, or consented, to the act of the person who caused the fire; or

            (b)         the bushfire results from operations genuinely directed at preventing, extinguishing or controlling a fire.

Intention

That you did not intend to light the fire, and that you were also not recklessly indifferent. Further, that your actions did not cause the fire. 

What the Prosecution Must Prove

To be convicted of causing a bushfire the prosecution must prove that:

  1. A bushfire was caused;
  2. That you intentionally, or with reckless indifference caused the bushfire.
  3. That it was not done in one of the lawful prescribed circumstances. 

Come and see the professional team at Caldicott Lawyers for assistance in your bushfire matter.

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