The Victorian Children's Court has granted bail to a teenager charged with starting a fire at Crusoe Reservoir on a day of Total Fire Ban last week.
The 16-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was released from police custody today with strict supervision guidelines.
The court ruled the teenager, who has an intellectual disability, must not leave his mother's residence without accompaniment of his parents or child protection workers.
The court heard he was "obsessed" with lighting a fire and had done so on a day of Total Fire Ban despite his friends warning he could go to jail.
He told police he had imitated the behaviour of two boys who lit a fire on Black Saturday that claimed the life of a Bendigo man.
Magistrate Jennifer Tregent said the offender's age and his lack of prior convictions meant he should be released into the care of his parents.
Ms Tregent called on the parents to recognise the seriousness of the ruling.
The court heard the parents had misled police on their son's whereabouts when they initially went to arrest him.
The boy will reappear before the children's court for a review of his bail application on February 18.