24 people charged with sparking blazes in Australia

The Australian government is trying to hold responsible those who had a hand in setting the destructive wildfires that have burned 25,000 square miles of the continent.

So far, about 183 people have had some sort of legal action taken against them in New South Wales, while 24 of them have been charged with lighting brush fires since November, ABC News reported.

Another 53 people are charged with not abiding by a burn ban and 47 people have been charged with discarding a lit cigarette, USA Today reported.

One of those accused of setting fires is a first responder. Blake Banner, 19, caught the eye of officials when he was one of the first at the scene of a fire. He was also seen in a vehicle just before a fire was reported in that area.

Banner faces charges in connection with seven fires set in October and November near Sydney.

If convicted of setting a brush fire intentionally and allowing it to spread can result in a sentence of up to 21 years behind bars, ABC News reported.

New South Wales Deputy Police Commissioner Gary Worboys reminded the public that not all of the blazes were set by someone but because of how badly the land has burned since September, killing hundreds of millions of wildlife, there is a zero-tolerance when it comes to fire activity, USA Today reported.

So far, 24 people have been killed, 2,000 homes have been destroyed and an estimated 500 million animals have perished, CNN reported.

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