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Police seek public help in relation to the Hazelwood open cut mine fire

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25 Feb 2014
Police are now calling for assistance after declaring the fire at Hazelwood suspicious

Latrobe Crime Investigation Unit and Arson and Explosive Squad detectives are seeking public assistance in relation to the Hazelwood open cut mine fire.

The fire, which has been burning for more than two weeks, is believed to have started at a site on the Strzelecki Highway between Morwell and Mirboo North on 9 February at around 1.30pm.

An arson chemist has attended and police are treating the fire as suspicious.

The fire progressed along the Strzelecki Highway through the HVP timber plantation, causing significant damage to plantations, fences and structures, before making its way into the Hazelwood open cut mine where it continues to burn.

There were also a number of smaller suspicious grass fires around the immediate area in Yinnar, Hazelwood and Boolarra on 28 January and again on the morning of 9 February.

Investigators believe an arsonist may be active in the area and could continue to light fires on high fire danger days.

Police wish to speak to anyone who witnessed any suspicious behaviour in these areas and urge anyone who believes they may know the person responsible to contact police.

Anyone with information about the fire is to asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or visit www.crimestoppers.com.au.

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