Pete Jackson and Ashley Geddes patrolling Facing Dr in O'Connell on Monday after a fire was contained on Sunday night.
Pete Jackson and Ashley Geddes patrolling Facing Dr in O'Connell on Monday after a fire was contained on Sunday night. Campbell Gellie

Firies bring blazes under control as arson is reported

THERE were seven fires in Gladstone over the weekend, and it's believed they may have been deliberately lit.

Gladstone Fire and Rescue station officer Graham Smith said they wouldn't know for sure until an investigation was completed.

"It's all hearsay at the moment until they can prove something. It's in the hands of police now," he said.

"There are better conditions for us (yesterday) so we have been able to contain them."

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He said the reports of the deliberate lighting of fires was worrying, but with dry conditions they could have been lit by almost anything.

"As they say, it could be the cigarette out the window, someone slashing, a glass bottle in the sun and a fire occurs and we are at the mercy of the wind," he said.

"Even rain is a temporary reprieve because the grass is cured and doesn't come back to life."

The wind calmed down yesterday from 20 knots to less than 15 knots.

The region is on a danger rating of Wild Fire Let Level 2, meaning there will be an increased response from the fire stations as soon as they are called to a fire.

"We're not too bad at the moment," said Mr Smith.

"The Rural Fire Service has been pretty much flat out for a week and a half.

"They are certainly being stretched being volunteers with jobs who take time off to do this job."

He said containment lines and firebreaks were currently working.

"They have all been well constructed. We have crews patrolling fires for 24-48 hours from the moment the fire is contained," he said.

"It allows time for logs to burn away because residual burning logs are generally what cause a containment line to fail.

"They can fall over lines or roll down hills and across lines so we have to patrol to reduce the chances that won't occur."

 



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