Four Corners - Fire Starters, The
It's a summer ritual: fire fighters across Australia battling hundreds of bushfires, putting themselves at risk to save other people's lives and property. But these men and women are confronting dangers they should never have to face.
While most fires, like the Canberra inferno, are ignited by lightning strikes or by stray sparks, investigators say a growing proportion of fires are being deliberately lit - by serial arsonists playing havoc in the bush. As Australia tallies the cost of one of its worst bushfire seasons, Four Corners looks at the devastation that firebugs wreak on the landscape and the fear they generate in vulnerable communities.
Reporter Stephen McDonell focuses on two communities where a firebug has been at work. McDonell builds a profile of offenders who typically crave power and status. For all their fundamental inadequacies, arsonists often presents normally enough to other people - even to their fellow volunteers in the local fire service.
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