Volunteer firefighter charged for multiple CQ arson offences
A TEENAGE rural fire brigade member has been charged over the lighting of seven fires in the region since May.
The 19-year-old man was charged with seven counts of unlawfully setting fire to crops or plants after police executed a search warrant on a River St address in Mount Morgan yesterday.
Detective Senior Sergeant Luke Peachey said investigations were continuing with up to 125 fires lit in three months.
The fires were predominantly lit around Mt Morgan, Gracemere and Alton Downs in the past three months.
Police have not ruled out the possibility that the teen was working alone.
"Through information we've received from the public ... and as a result of our investigations, we attended this address and seized a number of items of interest,” Det Sen Sgt Peachey said.
He said a large amount of forensic evidence had been gathered during the investigation including items police believe were used to start the fires.
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"There's been no serious damage to property (from these fires) however there has been a large amount of grazing land and grass land destroyed,” Snr Sgt Peachey said.
"There's a large amount of evidence we hope will forensically link this person to the fires, and not only the seven that we have charged him with.”
Snr Sgt Peachey said an accelerant was used to start some of the fires with mosquito coils and cotton wool balls used in others as delayed fuses.
He said the teen, a volunteer firefighter, was granted bail with very strict conditions.
He is due to appear in Rockhampton Magistrates Court on August 27.
"It's very very concerning he (a rural fire volunteer) has been involved in these,” Sen Sgt Peachey said.
"They're trained with a certain amount of knowledge of how to set these fires and put these fires out.”
He said the teen, who was a person of interest for police for some time, had not participated in any interviews with police as of 11am today.
Snr Sgt Peachey said police , who were working very closely with the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services, were still asking the public to come forward with any information they have about suspicious fires this year.