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A Victorian man who set a deadly fire on Black Saturday could soon walk free from jail.
Brendan Sokaluk lit a fire at Churchill, south of Morwell, which went on to kill 11 people, destroy 145 homes and burn through 25,000 hectares.
Today marks 14 years since the Black Saturday fires which claimed 173 lives on February 7, 2009.
The 53-year-old is believed to still own a home in Churchill but the community doesn’t want him to return.
“We don’t want him wandering about in our community,” Ange Gordon, former chair of the Traralgon South and District Community Recovery Committee, said.
Sokaluk, who was 42 at the time, admitted to police he started the fire but said it happened accidentally when ash dropped out his car window.
A Victorian Supreme Court jury found him guilty of arson causing death in 2012 over the fire.
It’s understood that Sokaluk was also CFA volunteer in 1987 and 1988.
Premier Daniel Andrews said Sokaluk’s release was a “matter for the parole board”.
“On this day, above all days, we send our thoughts and prayers and best wishes to every family touched by those fires,” he said.
“In terms of that individual, he’s where he should be right now.
“As for his release, that is a matter for the parole board and it’s appropriate that they be allowed to go through their processes.”