South Coast Police are appealing for public assistance after a deliberately lit fire at South Nowra late on Wednesday afternoon.
Emergency services were called to the Worrigee Nature Reserve off Quinns Lane after reports of a blaze in bushland.
The Fire and Rescue NSW Nowra appliance and three Rural Fire Service crews from Greenwell Point, West Nowra and Cambewarra arrived around 5pm to discovered an area of bush alight backing onto homes off Alata Crescent at the Green Orchid Gardens Estate.
Members of the public had started to extinguish the fire before being joined by the RFS crews who used a bush track to access the area.
Officer in charge of Nowra Police Station Inspector Ray Stynes said the cause of the fire had been investigated and was being considered suspicious.
"As a result of investigations police are considering the fire to be suspicious," he said.
"It was in bushland in close proximity to homes and we ask for any witnesses to come forward and supply us with any information they might have."
Wednesday's fire is the latest among what are believed to be a number of suspicious fires in the area over the past few weeks however, Insp Stynes said it was hard to connect the various fires.
"We've had a number of fires across the region," he said.
"We've had fires at Bomaderry, Nowra, Worrigee, West Nowra and South Nowra. It is hard to say if they are linked.
"With the dry conditions at the moment, as the RFS has said we are in desperate need of rain, the landscape is bone dry and any type of fire in winds the area has experienced in the last few days is dangerous.
"And as we have seen in northern NSW and Queensland these fires can be devastating.
"All of us in the Shoalhaven know the extent of fires and the effect they have on the community. Anyone identified as starting fires will be dealt with under the full force of the law."
Insp Stynes again called for anyone with information to come forward.
"We rely on the public, the community to be our eyes and ears," he said.
"I want to urge members of the community - if you see something, say something. If you have suspicions at all and wish to report a crime, don't take the risk - contact police or Crime Stoppers.
"Police can't do it all on our own, either can the community, it needs to be a police and community partnership."
Anyone with any information regarding Wednesday's fire or any other local fires is urged to contact Nowra Police on 4421 9699 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.