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24 people arrested, charged with setting bushfires in Australia

Published: Jan. 7, 2020 at 12:25 PM CST
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As bushfires continue to rage across parts of Australia, the

said it has taken legal action against more than 180 people related to the fires.

The police force says 183 people, including 40 juveniles, face criminal charges for 205 bushfire-related offenses.

Of the total, 24 people are charged with deliberately setting bushfires, 53 people failed to comply with a total fire ban, and 47 people allegedly discarded a lit cigarette or match on the land.

"Numerous bush and grass fires have impacted the state, claiming the lives of 18 people and destroying hundreds of millions of animals and livestock, thousands of homes, and more than 4.9 million hectares of land, so far this bushfire season," said the police force in a release.

Investigations into the cause, origin and overall impact of fires are continues.