Teens charged with deliberately lighting fires near John Hunter 

POLICE have charged three teenagers with deliberately lighting bushfires near the John Hunter Hospital over the last two days.

Fire and Rescue NSW responded to a number of fires inside George McGregor Reserve, located between the hospital and Rankin Park, about 6pm last night.

Six units were called to the area with two separate fires burning near the hospital.

Both were quickly extinguished and a third fire was located a short time later and put out, police said.

Police said emergency services were called to a number of deliberately lit fires in the same reserve the night before.

Due to the frequency of the incidents, Newcastle City police continually patrolled the area and Fire and Rescue NSW left a fully crewed vehicle at the scene on permanent standby.

Police began investigating after witnesses saw a group of young males acting suspiciously in the area at the time of the fires.

Investigators attended homes at Elermore Vale and Wallsend overnight where they arrested three teenagers.

The youths, aged 15, 16 and 17, have all been charged with intentionally lighting fire and recklessly allowing them to spread.

The two younger teens were granted strict conditional bail to appear at Broadmeadow Children's Court on February 5.

The 17-year-old, from Wallsend, was refused bail to appear in Parramatta Children's Court today.

Investigations are continuing.