11 'deliberately lit' fires in Cherbourg and Murgon
QUICK action from firefighters has prevented extensive damage after 11 fires were deliberately lit in Cherbourg and Murgon at the weekend.
Cherbourg fire chief Cameron Bond said fire crews battled 11 suspicious fires in two days.
"All the fires were deliberately lit.
"There were no other events such as lightning strikes or down power lines that could have caused it, and most of the times, there were kids who were in the area," he said.
"On Sunday we fought three fires in Cherbourg and one in Murgon," he said.
"And in the wee hours of Saturday morning we fought seven suspicious fires in Cherbourg and Murgon.
"We believe these were lit by adults. So it's not only the children doing the wrong thing," he said.
"Adults need to think about their actions too."
Mr Bond said emergency services don't have the time or resources to be held up by deliberately lit fires.
"We've had some very big bush fires lately, and these nuisance fires take emergency services personnel away from the bigger picture," he said.
"That could be somebody's home at threat."
"QPS does follow up all deliberately lit fires and the police will investigate them," Mr Bond said.
"If there is evidence that a fire was deliberately lit, a person - even a minor - will be charged with arson."
Mr Bond said if children were responsible for the fires, they should know better.
"QFES visits all schools to conduct fire safety lessons to students of all ages," he said.
"They have an understanding of what's a good fire and what's a bad fire."
Mr Bond said there was often a spike in suspicious fires during the school holidays, and encouraged children to take part in fun, safe activities to combat their boredom.
"There are lots of activities for kids at the PCYC in Murgon, and the Sporting Complex in Cherbourg," he said.
"Parents should encourage their kids to take part, because when they're bored they get up to mischief, like lighting fires.
"Go and do something fun. Go swim in the creek," he said.
"Think about the firefighters, they'd like to be home with their families."
Murgon officer in charge Lance Guteridge said police were investigating the fires.
"Police are issuing a warning that the lighting of fires without a proper permit is a serious offence.
"Offenders will also be liable for any damages incurred by fires that are deliberately lit," he said.
Sgt Guteridge said lighting a fire during the dry season was very dangerous.
"It can spread from a grass fire to a bush fire and it can threaten lives and buildings," he said.
"And that can happen very quickly. People need to be aware that if they light it, they are responsible for what happens afterwards."