Water bombing at the height of Peregian Springs and Lake Weyba fires. Photo: John McCutcheon / Sunshine Coast Daily
Water bombing at the height of Peregian Springs and Lake Weyba fires. Photo: John McCutcheon / Sunshine Coast Daily

Authorities reveal disturbing cause of latest bushfires

INVESTIGATORS have identified the ignition point of three fires, including the latest Peregian blaze, and say all were deliberately lit.

Ken Stockton, a fire investigator for Queensland Fire and Emergency Services, said all were "definitely the result of arson".

"It's very disappointing," he said.

Mr Stockton said fire authorities were now working with police in their investigation.

"It's really fortunate we were able to retain these fires in unpopulated areas.

"I don't know why they do this sort of stuff.

"They're playing with fire.

"I don't think they're set with intent to do damage.

"Fires get away from them and then they panic and run."

An exhausted firefighter takes a breather during last week’s blaze that burnt through 1200 ha but was contained before it could do serious damage to properties and homes. Photo Patrick Woods / Sunshine Coast Daily.
An exhausted firefighter takes a breather during last week’s blaze that burnt through 1200 ha but was contained before it could do serious damage to properties and homes. Photo Patrick Woods / Sunshine Coast Daily.

The Peregian fire has burnt through 1200ha of bush and farmland without loss of homes or injury.

But, if it had not been stopped at Grays Road last Wednesday night, Mr Stockland said there would have been a totally different outcome.

Firefighters and waterbombing helicopters worked tirelessly to force the blaze back on itself before it could threaten Doonan, Eumundi and rural residential properties along and around Eumundi-Noosa Rd, which would have then been in its path and difficult to defend.

Commander Bernie Massingham said another of the deliberately lit fires had been ignited on Saturday on Eenie Creek across the road from the Noosa Civic shopping centre.

Four appliances and crews worked quickly to put it out before it took hold.

Commander Massingham said the Peregian blaze was all but out apart from smoking logs well inside blackened out areas.

He said the fire ground had 30m edges all around that were fire free.

The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast rain and thunderstorms for Christmas Day, a present all firefighters would be pleased to receive.

Forecasts of up to 25mm of rain falling were expected to be upgraded to higher totals later today with all weather models falling into line.

Commander Massingham said fire crews would continue to monitor the Peregian fire ground around the clock through to 7am Christmas Day.


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