An 11-year-boy accused of lighting two fires at Port Stephens has been placed under house arrest.
The boy was charged yesterday over two fires, one which caused mass evacuations and destroyed more than 5,000 hectares of bushland in the Heatherbrae area last week.
The boy’s lawyer told the Newcastle children’s court his client will challenge the facts of the case.
The prosecution opposed bail but the magistrate granted strict bail.
The 11-year-old cannot leave his home unless under the supervision of his parents or an authorised adult.
A 15-year-old is also due to appear in court next month after being charged yesterday by police over the same fire.
He was last night charged with intentionally lighting a fire and being reckless to its spread.
The fire forced hundreds of residents to flee their homes and take shelter in evacuation centres and with friends and family.
Newcastle Airport was also forced to close at the height of the blaze.
Fire crews are still working to black out the Heatherbrae fire ahead of predicted worsening weather conditions this week.