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Vic: Firebug strikes as bushfire relief telethon airs

13 Feb 2009 1:57 AM

MELBOURNE, Feb 13 AAP - Police are hunting a firebug whose actions briefly threatened the Mornington Peninsula town of Baxter on Thursday night, as the Nine Network aired its bushfire relief telethon.

Police were called to a fire in a paddock at the corner of Acorn Road and Jacaranda Drive about 10.45 pm (AEDT), a Victoria Police spokesman said.

The fire was deliberately lit and "had the potential of becoming a major fire in the area, which is tinder dry", the spokesman said.

Country Fire Authority crews put out the fire before it took hold.

Sergeant Michael Lamb of Hastings police said he was shocked by the incident.

"There was a telethon for victims of bushfires and somebody goes out and does this." he said.