Strike Force Tronto detectives appeal for information over suspicious bushfire near Kempsey

Police are appealing for public assistance as they investigate the cause of several bushfires on the state’s Mid North Coast.

About 4pm on Tuesday 17 October 2023, emergency services were called to McGuires Crossing Road at Belmore River – about 15km east of Kempsey – following reports of a bushfire.

The fire, which has been brought under control, has burnt through nearly 3,000 hectares of bushland in the Hat Head National Park.

There are no current threats, and the fire remains at Advice level. No injuries have been reported.

Under Strike Force Tronto, detectives from the Financial Crime Squad’s Arson Unit, with assistance from officers from the Mid North Coast Police District, commenced an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the blaze, which is believed to be suspicious.

As inquiries continue, detectives are keen to speak with the driver of a white Nissan Patrol tabletop utility, with a broken taillight, which was seen in the area about 3pm that day.

Detectives are also investigating if the fire has any links to blazes that occurred on Lighthouse Road at Arakoon, Maria River Road at Crescent Head, and Crescent Head Road at Crescent Head, which occurred between 6am and 8am on Tuesday 17 October 2023.

Any witnesses or anyone with further information is urged to come forward.

Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report information via NSW Police social media pages.

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