OF the average 52,000 bushfires a year in Australia, half are either deliberately lit or suspicious, according to research by the Australian Institute of Criminology.
The Rural Fire Service (RFS), Fire and Rescue NSW and police have formed Strike Force Tronto to investigate deliberately lit bushfires.
Since October, Strike Force Tronto has charged 42 people for deliberately lighting more than 250 fires across the state.
Strike Force Tronto is also trialling a new system designed to predict arson trends.
The Arson Trends Analysis System uses mapping technology to determine if an arsonist is at work, police said.