Under the cover of dark, in a dead-end street, a blaze was lit with firefighters rushing to the well-known spot for firebugs in Berkeley.
The blaze ignited around 4.10am on Wednesday, October 25 off Hooka Creek Road, near the netball courts.
"The start of our annual grass fires at Berkeley has commenced," Fire and Rescue NSW Dapto Station Officer Wayne Patrick said.
But, it's an annual tradition firefighters would rather didn't happen at all.
"This one is in a small forest of she-oaks, where the underlying mulch layer burns slowly but can re-ignite if the fire travels below the mulch layer," Station Officer Patrick said.
"It was a slow moving fire, we were just stopping it from spreading towards the grass."
Firefighters from two FRNSW trucks, along with two Rural Fire Service brigades, used thermal imaging cameras to ensure "hot spots" had been extinguished so the fire would not reignite.
The fire was around half a hectare in size.
This was the latest in a series of suspicious fires ignited across the Illawarra, including numerous grass fires off Memorial Drive.
Police were called to the Hooka Creek Road fire and the public is urged to report any information that could help officers with their investigation to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.