A 75-year-old civil celebrant charged with lighting a Victorian bushfire that killed a man and destroyed 21 homes has been granted bail.Grahame Ernest Code appeared at the Latrobe Valley Magistrates Court today.
When he was charged on Wednesday, Victoria Police said they had his home under surveillance and urged people not to take the law into their own hands.
The bail conditions stipulate Code must live at an alternative address because of safety concerns.
The Aberfeldy resident, who promotes himself online as having performed marriage ceremonies in the area for nearly 20 years, is charged with five offences, including recklessly causing a bushfire.
He is due to appear at the Latrobe Valley Magistrates Court for a committal hearing on May 2.
Police allege the Aberfeldy bushfire was started on a rural Gippsland property about 200km east of Melbourne on the morning of Thursday, January 17.
Stan Hayhurst, 84, was found dead in his car at Seaton a day after the bushfire roared through the town.
The fire later came dangerously close to townships including Heyfield, triggering days of fierce firefighting and visits from concerned political leaders.
It has burned 75,000 hectares of land.
Code was ordered to surrender his passport and refrain from contacting witnesses.