Why Arsonists Light Bushfires: Aic Findings
While further empirical research with bushfire arson data and offenders will be needed, this typology presents a starting point for further work and a basis for understanding why people light bushfires. 1. Bushfires lit to create excitement or relieve boredom Vandalism – fires are lit by individuals or groups; Stimulation – the firesetter seeks the excitement and stimulation of seeing the arrival of fire crews, and possibly media; Activity – fires may be lit (by firefighters or others) in order to generate activity and relieve boredom from waiting for a naturally-occurring fire to break out. 2. Bushfires lit for recognition and attention Heroism – fires are lit to gain recognition, rewards and ‘hero’ status from reporting the fire and perhaps helping fight it; Pleading – fires are lit as a ‘cry for help’, for recognition and attention but to get help or assistance, rather than rewards or hero status. 3. Bushfires lit for a specific purpose or gain Anger – fire is lit to secure revenge or as an expression of anger or protest; Pragmatic – fires are lit for purposes where other means of obtaining the objective are impractical or illegal, such as for land clearing; Material – fires are lit for material gain, such as by firefighters seeking overtime or other payments; Altruistic – the fire is lit to achieve an aim the firesetter believes will benefit others, such as to gain funding for small rural fire services, or clear fuel loads to prevent a more serious fire in the future. 4. Bushfires lit without motive Psychiatric – fires are lit on the basis of psychological or psychiatric impulses derived from mental disabilities; Children – fires are lit as a form of play or experimentation. 5. Bushfires lit with mixed motives Multiple – fires are lit on the basis of several motives arising at one time; Incidental – bushfires result from the spread of a fire that was lit with malicious intent, but without any expectation of a bushfire occurring.