Fire fighters battle fires in Rockhampton last year.
Fire fighters battle fires in Rockhampton last year.

BUSHFIRES: Police set sights on would-be firebugs

ROCKHAMPTON police have this morning issued a stern warning to would-be firebugs as Central Queensland readies itself for another bushfire season.

In a statement released to The Morning Bulletin, police said fires in public spaces were often deliberately lit with legitimate cause.

However, this is not always the case – evident by this past summer’s devastating season which crippled a majority of the nation.

“Arson generally is defined as the act of intentionally and maliciously destroying or damaging property through the use of fire,” explained Sgt Jode Fernie.

IGNITED: Fires burn close to properties near Yeppoon during this past bushfire season.
IGNITED: Fires burn close to properties near Yeppoon during this past bushfire season.

“The Queensland Police Service is encouraging all members of the community to report suspicious fire behaviour or suspicious activity in areas where bushfires have started.”

She further stated officers would openly investigate high priority landscape fires of a suspicious nature.

The stern warning comes just two days after a significant fire took hold of bushland behind a residential area at Gracemere.

Investigations into the blaze remain ongoing, however, it has not been confirmed as arson.

Sgt Fernie said it was crucial to locate firebugs in a bid to demonstrate to the wider community the consequences of igniting blazes.

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CLOSE CALL: The aftermath of a bushfire which threatened Gracemere properties on Tuesday afternoon.
CLOSE CALL: The aftermath of a bushfire which threatened Gracemere properties on Tuesday afternoon.

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Other measures, she added, could also be used to manage further risk to residential properties.

“Our area of Central Queensland does a vast amount of back burning.”

“Police recommend looking at the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service for information regarding how to obtain a back burning permit.”

She urged all community members to be responsible this bush fire season and to report any suspicious activity.

If you have information for police, contact Policelink by providing information using the online suspicious activity form 24hrs per day.

You can also report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers 24hrs per day.