Fire is a tremendous threat to life and property in any circumstance.
We have seen it time-and-time again when someone with a twisted mind lights a match or uses a cigarette light in the bush.
Sadly, it is a scenario played out every fire season, where deliberately-lit fires take hold and cause massive disruption and harm.
The extreme risk though is not something that is confined to the outdoors, as much as that is something that we all have to turn our attention to every bushfire season.
A fire lit inside a house will clearly have disastrous consequences.
Obviously this is not something that’s a common occurrence.
When a house catches alight it is usually because of something that has gone awry, such as an electrical fault or as a result of clothes left drying in front of a heater.
One of the biggest dangers posed in a deliberately-lit house fire, of which we see many around Wagga and other towns in the Riverina, is to firefighters.
These people are the experts, but the reality is their job has inherent risks that none of us will ever have to contemplate when we go to work.
They’re highly trained, so skilled at knowing how best to approach a fire to contain and then put out.
They are able to keep themselves safe, as far as this can reasonably be calculated.
But fire is an incredibly complex thing at times, so the risk is always there.
It is what makes deliberate arson attacks in a residential area so reprehensible.
Not only could the person who lit the fire have greatly endangered themselves, especially if the blaze took hold quicker than they expected, it places firefighters in a situation that they should never have to encounter.
There is also no foolproof way of knowing whether the fire, in the event of really catching hold, might have come into contact with materials in the building’s fabric that could in turn release toxic fumes to go with all the smoke.
These attacks deserve the greatest condemnation and anyone who has information about the culprit should not hesitate to contact the police.