Cops say little kids lit fires ‘for fun’
TWO teenagers have been charged over an alleged deliberately lit fire on the Sunshine Coast as authorities have issued an alarming warning that conditions could worsen.
The weather bureau is predicting that temperatures 5C to 6C above average, coupled with high winds, could result in "very high fire dangers" in a state that is already reeling from multiple horrific blazes.
On Wednesday night a 14-year-old Peregian Springs boy and a 15-year-old Coolum Beach girl were charged with endangering particular property by fire. Detectives have now dealt with 11 suspected arsonists over the state's devastating bushfires.
Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll said 10 of those fires were deliberately lit, and in some cases, young kids had started a fire "for fun".
As part of new Taskforce Overcross, which will assess potentially suspicious fires, two children have been charged with endangering property at Glenden near Mackay, while another adult has been charged with seven counts of unauthorised lighting of fires in Dalby.
A child has been cautioned about an alleged arson in Woodridge in Brisbane's south, while yet another has been referred to restorative justice on three counts of endangering property and one count of wilful damage at Pimpama.
Children have also been referred to restorative justice over fires at Ormeau, Torquay, Palm Beach, Deception Bay and Wavell Heights, while an adult was given a notice to appear in court following unauthorised lighting of fires in Rockhampton.
"In some cases, it's just young kids lighting a fire for fun, that fire has got away and obviously impacted in some ways very badly," Police Commissioner Carroll said.
"Others, kids have got together and purposefully lit fires and in other cases there have been obviously recidivist offenders around arson. "So all the circumstances are very varied … and the police have dealt with them appropriately," Police Commissioner Carroll said.
Bureau of Meteorology weather services manager Richard Wardle said that while a weather reprieve was forecast for yesterday and today, a warmer air mass moving into the state's south could put Queensland in the danger zone again.
"We are expecting to see temperatures 5C to 6C above average for this time of year, so we're talking about low to mid-30s," Mr Wardle said.
"We actually expect on Monday (and) Tuesday, those temperatures in the southern interior to be about 5C to 8C above average for this time of year. Coupled with winds, that's going to give us very high fire dangers."