POLICE are out in force ramping up their monitoring of known arsonists as the threat of bushfires closer to home accelerates.
Emergency services are investigating a number of deliberately lit blazes across the Tumut and Riverina areas.
Riverina Police District are issuing a public appeal for anyone with information about recent acts of arson.
Riverina Police District Inspector Stephen Radford said the role of the community in stopping these fires cannot be overstated.
"Information provided to police from members of the public can help us identify and suppress firebugs before they start lighting," Inspector Radford said.
"It's distressing to see so many fires being deliberately lit across the state, particularly with the recent hot and windy conditions.
"I want to urge members of the community - if you see something, say something. If you have suspicions at all and wish to report a crime, don't take the risk - contact police or Crime Stoppers."
Police will be actively patrolling high risk areas where people congregate, such as the Blowering Dam, to ensure the risks associated with fire ban breaches and illegal fireworks are minimised.
According to the Australian Institute of Criminology, using data from fire agencies from 1995 to 2006, about 85 per cent of bushfires are caused by humans.
The AIC said it is difficult to get a consolidated understanding of the profile of bushfire arsonists and their motivations, mainly due to the low numbers that are apprehended.
Dr Paul Read, co-director of the National Centre for Research in Bushfire and Arson, said two studies converge on the same figure of 87 per cent of fires relate to human activity.
He said another study suggests that only one per cent of arsonists are ever caught and the rate is rising.
"Half [of firebugs] are kids, on which about 20 per cent are truly malicious and only half of these will be convicted," he said.
"The other three subgroups of kids grow out of fires in much the same way they grow out of all sorts of mischief.
"These groups include experimental fire-play, unhealthy fascination due to developmental disorders, sometimes autism, or else victims of child abuse and neglect."
Dr Read said the latest study revealed that 40 per cent of fires were confirmed arson and that firebugs become more dangerous on hotter days and light fires closer to communities.
"The more dangerous older groups are driven by combinations of emotions that combine impulsiveness with crisis and chaotic thinking, anger, bitterness, excitement, social awkwardness,depression and very low intelligence, at least among those who are caught," he said.
Detective Chief Inspector Richard Puffet, Financial Crimes Squad's Arson Unit coordinator, said the NSW Police Force compiles profiles on persons deemed to pose a risk in relation to potential bushfire arson.
"The profiles are prepared by the Financial Crimes Squad's Arson Unit each season and sent to Police Area Commands and Police Districts for their information and action as deemed necessary," he said.
"Police also use a range of techniques and strategies to detect bushfire arsonists, which includes proactive covert operations throughout the season, or when required."
NSW Police would not disclose region specific data or the number of arsonists that are watched in the area.
"The NSW Police Force works closely with other stake holder agencies such as the NSW Rural Fire Service, Fire and Rescue NSW, Forestry Corporation and NSW National Parks and Wildlife in the area of awareness and prevention," Detective Chief Inspector Puffet said.