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deliberately lit fires
why do they do it?


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#1 Regular Show

Posted 03 January 2013 - 08:18 PM

45 degrees tomorrow after an already hot day today.  One bush fire still burning  (3rd day??) and two suspected deliberately lit fires today.

Its worrying with catastrophic conditions in the hills tomorrow and one of the hottest days in years and fire bugs  are already trying to light fires.

Are they trying to kill people or just get the thrill from lighting it in the first place??

Edited by Cadie, 03 January 2013 - 08:28 PM.


#2 Giltine

Posted 03 January 2013 - 08:22 PM

One thing about living where I am, it's been over 45 degrees every day for two months, and it continues with near 50s on the way, at least we have nothing to burn.

DF and I are members of the CFS, and if we had a full squad we'd be sent south to help out. I will never understand why peoples start fires for fun.

#3 erindiv

Posted 03 January 2013 - 08:24 PM

I can't even begin to imagine what is going on in their heads.

My dad always tells me about when he was young and the young firefighters (he never was one) used to sometimes light one so they could get the 'thrill' of saving everyone.

Edit to add a quote:

QUOTE
For example, a recent New South Wales study of bushfire arson found that the ‘average’
offender was male and had an average age of 26.6 years, although 31 per cent were aged less than 18 at the time
of the offence. Despite there being no typical profile of a deliberate fire-setter, there is some evidence that particular
features are more commonly seen among fire-setters than among other offenders. Most international studies have
found that fire-setters tend to be young men with interpersonal difficulties, drug or alcohol dependence, evidence
of an unstable childhood, and some form of mental health problem. Among other typical characteristics were being
racially ‘white’, low socio-economic status, a poor academic and employment record, and an extensive criminal
history, with many crimes that were not identified or prosecuted. As noted, however, these characteristics are
similar to those applying to many other offenders, and predictors for arson offenders re-offending tend to be similar
to those for other offenders. As a result, these factors offer only limited predictive assistance.11


from https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=ca...ZtTqyfQRvaKgHTw

Heaps more interesting reading there about the reasons, types, etc.

Edited by erindiv, 03 January 2013 - 08:27 PM.


#4 ~sydblue~

Posted 03 January 2013 - 08:26 PM

Have you never heard of Pyromania?
I also know a kid with Aspergers, and one thing he loved was fire. He could sit there and watch it for hours. It was the same sort of fascination some children have with cars or trains etc.

#5 squeekums

Posted 03 January 2013 - 08:28 PM

The things I would do if to these morons if I caught them.

Im lucky I dont like in a high risk area now but I have and had a couple of close calls. Scared the living sh*t outta me.


#6 -*meh*-

Posted 03 January 2013 - 08:29 PM

words which would be bleeped out on eb...

honestly there is no logic or acceptable reasons behind it...

it is going to be nasty tomorrow and having people i care about living in the hills it sh*ts me to tears people do this!

#7 kadoodle

Posted 03 January 2013 - 08:35 PM

DH was in the CFA with a firebug.  He'd lost his job and marriage, so kept lighting fires so he'd get called out to fill the emptyness in the rest of his life.  He killed himself when he was found out.

I also knew a firebug kid who just had this fascination with setting things alight.  He had learning difficulties and was just fixated on fire in the same way my ASD boy is fixated on Dr Who.

#8 Regular Show

Posted 03 January 2013 - 08:36 PM

QUOTE (~sydblue~ @ 03/01/2013, 08:56 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Have you never heard of Pyromania?
I also know a kid with Aspergers, and one thing he loved was fire. He could sit there and watch it for hours. It was the same sort of fascination some children have with cars or trains etc.


Yes I've heard of Pyromania - but I thought it was just a fascination with lighting the actual fires.

Im wondering if people who light bush fires are trying to kill people and put there lives in danger or if its just the thrill of lighting it in the first place with no thought towards the consequences. Not that I can imagine not realizing the consequences?! but yeah...

Id imagine that being so hot tomorrow for our region that if they already tried to have a go today then they'd probably try tomorrow too??? - That worries me.

ETA; Interesting info from erindiv's link;

'contrary to popular perception, arsonists who are compulsive offenders, including those with the condition of pyromania, constitute a small and reasonably rare group, and these people are not responsible for the majority of deliberately lit fires.'

Edited by Cadie, 03 January 2013 - 08:48 PM.


#9 fluttershy

Posted 03 January 2013 - 08:37 PM

.

Edited by EHB, 18 January 2013 - 04:20 AM.


#10 Regular Show

Posted 03 January 2013 - 08:37 PM

QUOTE (erindiv @ 03/01/2013, 08:54 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I can't even begin to imagine what is going on in their heads.

My dad always tells me about when he was young and the young firefighters (he never was one) used to sometimes light one so they could get the 'thrill' of saving everyone.

Edit to add a quote:



from https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=ca...ZtTqyfQRvaKgHTw

Heaps more interesting reading there about the reasons, types, etc.


Thats really interesting - off to read the link

#11 Guest_CaptainOblivious_*

Posted 03 January 2013 - 10:20 PM

We had a deliberately lit fire through out town a few years ago which burned down some houses, destroyed heaps of farms and nearly killed a couple of people. If we hadn't had the last minute wind change it would have taken out the whole town as it was surrounded by separate fires. We had a colourbond fence between us an a paddock of shoulder high dried weeds. We could see the fire coming up the road towards us and had soaked everything (and spent the weeks leading up to it trying to keep it green to minimise the risk) and were able to stay and put out the spot fires that started in our yard.  The house 2 doors up was burned to the ground after the owners had to evacuate as they were elderly and the man had breathing problems so couldn't stay and everyone else was trying to sort out their own houses with no water pressure.

We were in the middle of a drought and it was after a week of 40+ days with hot dry winds. People had to spend the next few days with their kids/brothers/wives/friends etc all with guns putting down livestock It was horrific. DP was teaching at a small school and there were kids as young as 7 and 8 helping shoot their animals.

This week has been high 30s and is going to be low to mid 40s for the next 5-6 days. It's scary dry at the moment and everyone is on tenterhooks. I just wish everyone who had ever been impacted by a fire could line up and punch the firelighters in the face, one after another. Maybe that would deter them more than our stupid legal system.

#12 Regular Show

Posted 03 January 2013 - 10:32 PM

QUOTE (CaptainOblivious @ 03/01/2013, 10:50 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Maybe that would deter them more than our stupid legal system.


In the link erindiv provided it says that offenders rarely get charged with a crime or maximum sentences.

Pretty disgusting if you ask me.

#13 casime

Posted 04 January 2013 - 06:49 AM

I'm up early this morning and have the car packed ready to go today just in case.  It's going to be bad out there today.  We had a fire down the road the other day lit by campers.  Morons.  I went out yesterday and abused the hell out of some idiots who were dirtbiking and smoking in the reserve ovver the road.  I can't believe how stupd people are.

#14 snuffles

Posted 04 January 2013 - 07:37 AM

The penalties need to be more harsh.  If people are killed as a result of a deliberately lit fire, then whoever lit the fire should be charged with murder.

I don't know why they do it, but there has to be something wrong going on upstairs.



#15 JustBeige

Posted 04 January 2013 - 07:51 AM

QUOTE (EHB @ 03/01/2013, 09:37 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Quite a few of our local fires in the last 10 yrs were lit by school kids. Bored, in school holidays, playing with fire).

Yep, most of our local fires are the same.  The last one that wiped out houses and closed the freeway was.   *touch wood* we havent had any yet this school holidays.

#16 FrogIsAFrogIsAFrog

Posted 04 January 2013 - 08:27 AM

I've worked with a few young fire lighters, and one adult - for whom lighting fires weren't 'one offs'. All had histories of pretty extreme abuse, neglect and personality disorder.

It certainly seems to be an outlet for excitement, starting something and helping put it out (my theory is fulfilling a 'rescue' need), and a degree of malice. I've got quite a bit of anecdata on the motives of the people I've worked with - and I still struggle to 'get' the link between the personal issues and the outlet (fires).

I do know the police/ firies pay visits to known arsonists in times of extreme fire danger to 'have a chat', which is a little comforting.




#17 Anyway...

Posted 04 January 2013 - 08:47 AM

It is a shame when volunteers are found to be lighting fires, it gives a bad name to my DH and all the other volunteers who would never think to start a fire sad.gif

#18 steppy

Posted 04 January 2013 - 08:53 AM

I imagine most of them are dumb teenage boys or young men who actually aren't thinking much of the consequences beyond "wow there will be a lot of excitement and I will have been the cause". Much like when kids throw rocks at cars to see them swerve and maybe crash without really thinking about the fact that someone might die too. I doubt that most of them want to kill someone - lighting a fire in the bush isn't really that effective if your sole purpose is to kill others.

#19 fluttershy

Posted 04 January 2013 - 08:57 AM

.

Edited by EHB, 18 January 2013 - 04:17 AM.


#20 Regular Show

Posted 04 January 2013 - 10:02 AM

QUOTE (steppy @ 04/01/2013, 09:23 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I imagine most of them are dumb teenage boys or young men who actually aren't thinking much of the consequences beyond "wow there will be a lot of excitement and I will have been the cause". Much like when kids throw rocks at cars to see them swerve and maybe crash without really thinking about the fact that someone might die too. I doubt that most of them want to kill someone - lighting a fire in the bush isn't really that effective if your sole purpose is to kill others.


In the article it says that, most offenders who deliberately light fires do so next to populated areas. It also says the most likely to light them are people with a previous criminal history.

(the article wont let me quote it for some reason/type of document it is maybe)

#21 Kalota

Posted 04 January 2013 - 04:50 PM

I'd say its the thrill, the same reason why people shoplift things they don't need, or steal cars for a joyride...

#22 BetteBoop

Posted 04 January 2013 - 04:55 PM

For the same reason that people throw rocks off overpasses at cars driving underneath. Some people get enormous pleasure from the wanton destruction of someone else's property, particularly if there's the potential to hurt or kill someone.




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