BREAKING: Help police catch the CQ bushfire arsonists
CENTRAL Queensland police are calling on public assistance to catch arsonists after a series of serious bushfires threatened people and property over the weekend.
Yesterday a fast-moving wildfire in the Lakes Creek area of North Rockhampton about 1pm sparked a major response from emergency services to protect a number of homes in several streets.
That fire on Mt Dick in the Berserker Ranges continues to burn with people in the area on emergency "advice” status. (You need to keep up to date and decide what actions you will take if the situation changes.)
Senior Sergeant Cameron Barwick, Disaster Management Support Officer, Rockhampton Disaster District said starting a fire deliberately was a major crime.
"Police will openly investigate high priority landscape fires of a suspicious nature to bring offenders to justice and inform the community that the unlawful use of fire has personal consequences,” he said.
"Bush fire arson is dangerous - it can destroy lives, properties and have long term effects on the environment.
"It is also costly for the community with the loss of properties, cost of firefighting resources and the disruption to businesses.
"QPS are encouraging all members of the community to report any suspicious activity in areas where bush fires have started.”
He said the Queensland Police Service was working closely with Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) to support their work during the bush fire emergencies.
He reminded people that:
Authorised permits are the usual approval process for lighting fires.
Permits require people to follow directions to prevent uncontrollable fires.
The lighting or maintaining of fires outside these permits is an offence.
How you can help?
If your workplace, neighbourhood, or district is being affected by deliberately lit, illegal bush fires, there are things you can do.
If you see something that looks out of place, this may be what police are looking for.
Police encourage you to try to gather and record as much information as possible.
Every piece of information you can provide is important and could help the police prevent bush fire arson occurring.
If you can, record the details of suspicious vehicles such as the make, model and registration.
Also take note of the appearance of anyone acting suspiciously.
Knowing the cause of fires can help provide accurate data, focus prevention campaigns and prosecute people who negligently or deliberately light fires.
You can report suspicious fire activity in a number of ways, including:
Provide confidential information to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000
Contact Policelink on 131 444 or click here to lodge an online suspicious activity report
To report a fire emergency call Triple Zero (000)
There are heavy penalties for people convicted of arson.
Police are working with QFES to investigate the cause of suspicious fires and will not hesitate to take enforcement action against those caught committing arson.
Please follow the direction of police and other emergency services during this time