EIGHT fires that ripped through Tongala on Thursday were deliberately lit.
Arson and police investigators assessed the scenes of the blazes on Friday.
‘‘The exact cause is not known, but they have been deliberately lit on a number of local properties along Finlay and John Allan Rd,’’ Detective Sergeant Troy Wickham of Campaspe Criminal Investigation Unit said.
‘‘The fires were on the northern and southern sides of the road.’’
About 25 CFA crews and 75 firefighters spent more than seven hours battling the blazes, which threatened a home and some livestock.
They were helped by three aircraft and two shire water tankers.
‘‘The first call came in about 1.30pm and we believe there were at least eight fires, with the likelihood some were separate and joined to become one of eight,’’ Det. Sgt Wickham said.
The fires burnt about 36 hectares of private land from John Allan Rd in Kyabram to west of Scobie Rd, destroying grass and some fences.
‘‘It’s very concerning for us (that they were deliberately lit) but fortunately there was no significant damage to buildings or infrastructure,’’ Det. Sgt Wickham said.
‘‘It came very close to one house and another fire was lit across the road from a house.
‘‘There was a lot of damage to fences and farmers lost a bit of dry feed.’’
Police are now appealing to the public for information into who lit the fires.
‘‘If anyone saw anything out of the ordinary along Finlay Rd and John Allan Rd, could they please contact us,’’ Det. Sgt Wickham said.
People can contact Echuca police on 54831558 or Crime Stoppers on 1800333000.