News

Police search for illegal campers to determine cause of fire

Division commander inspector Paul Durston looks over a map of Bribie. Photo Vicki Wood / Caboolture News
Division commander inspector Paul Durston looks over a map of Bribie. Photo Vicki Wood / Caboolture News Vicki Wood

UPDATE Monday: THE bushfires that raged in Bribie Island bushland near White Patch last week are believed to have been started by an illegal campfire, which then spread to the forest.

Bribie Island Police Station officer-in-charge Senior Sergeant David Crawford-Raby is looking for information from the public about a campsite, including a cubby house or fort, in the block directly north of the Pacific Harbour golf course.

"There was a campfire lit there and that fire or other fires lit in the vicinity of the site are believed to be responsible," he said.

HQ Plantations manages all four forestry plantations on the island and lost hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of trees.

General manager of operations Steve Worley estimated "a couple of thousand" hectares had been burnt in total, including "a couple of hundred" hectares of plantation land.

A water bomber was called to control a small flare-up on Sunday but control of the fire has been handed over to HQ Plantations.

Small pockets of fire were burning on the island's western side on Monday but Mr Worley said it was under control.

Queensland Fire and Rescue Service Division commander inspector Paul Durston said despite the large area, no structures were damaged, not even a fence.

People with respiratory conditions are still advised to stay indoors, with windows closed and keep their medication close by as long as the fires burn.

What remained of the fire was under control on Monday morning and no QFRS crews were on scene.

The cause of the fire is under further investigation.

 

Check out our live blog of events earlier in the week here.

See Insp Durston explain the QFRS plan of attack here.

{% load video %}{% video_inline 16950 normal %}

{% load photogalleries %}{% photogallery_inline gallery=17613 align=left embed=yes %}

 

THE fire threat to homes on Bribie Island has eased but residents on the mainland have been urged to be on high alert for floating embers.

Fire crews will work this afternoon and into the night to force the huge blaze to burn west towards Pumicestone Passage and relative safety.

But with a wind change expected tomorrow, concerns have shifted to ensuring the blaze doesn't spread over the passage to the coastal suburbs of Toorbul, Donnybrook and Sandstone Point.

Queensland Fire and Rescue Service division commander Inspector Paul Durston said there was a chance floating embers could cause spot fires as far as 1.5km inland.

"The area of concern is the smoke plume that is travelling across this passage to the mainland," he said.

"We have fire crews in those areas, if anybody has any concerns, dial 000 and we will respond accordingly.

"We're patrolling at the moment to ensure that any of that type of material that is carried across the passage, if they are embers that we jump on them quickly."

The smoke itself has also become a concern as it spreads inland, cutting visibility on roads and posing health risks.

A Department of Community Services spokesman advised people with respiratory conditions to stay indoors, keep windows closed and keep their medication close by.

Assistant Police Minister Steve Dickson made the trip to Bribie to see the devastation first hand.

He praised the work of the dozens of volunteer firefighters who worked tirelessly to protect homes.

"We've got some extremely dedicated people who work for fire and emergency services out here today doing an outstanding job," he said.

"These jackets are extremely hot to work in; the weather is extremely hot and remember these people are looking after all Queenslanders."

He urged people to do "whatever it takes" to stop the spot fires reigniting on the mainland.

"We are all there in this thing together and we just want to make sure that it doesn't spread," he said.

The cause of the fire is still unknown but it is believed to have started in the Welsby swamp area, just north of the Pacific Harbour Golf and Country Club course.


Join the Community.

Get your local news, your way.

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Young woman hit by car

Police officers talk to a driver after a girl was hit on King Street, Caboolture. Photo Vicki Wood / Caboolture News

Crash on King Street leaves young woman lying on the ground.

Engineering student hopes for Startup Weekend success

Kallum Packard.

Caboolture resident Kallum Packard to pitch ReceiptLock.

Five arrested in operation targeting crime, welfare cheats

TASKFORCE INTEGRITY: Police have executed a number of search warrants in the Deception Bay area.

FIVE have been arrested as the result of a joint police operation.

Latest deals and offers

82-year-old man goes missing

The 82-year-old man was last seen at a Higgs Street unit yesterday at 3:30pm. He may have been heading towards Toorbul.

Young woman hit by car

Police officers talk to a driver after a girl was hit on King Street, Caboolture. Photo Vicki Wood / Caboolture News

Crash on King Street leaves young woman lying on the ground.

Engineering student hopes for Startup Weekend success

Kallum Packard.

Caboolture resident Kallum Packard to pitch ReceiptLock.

Five arrested in operation targeting crime, welfare cheats

TASKFORCE INTEGRITY: Police have executed a number of search warrants in the Deception Bay area.

FIVE have been arrested as the result of a joint police operation.

Flying high, vintage style

WWI Bristol Fighter pilot Jack McDonald with journalist Luke Simmonds.   Photo Vicki Wood / Caboolture News  Photo Vicki Wood / Caboolture News

Flying high, vintage style

Go back to Bangladesh, says immigration department

DEFIANCE: Dr Mark Weller and nine of the 16 Bangladeshi boys from Kilcoy who are facing deportation.

Go back to Bangladesh, says immigration department

ACF take Minister to Court

ACF chief executive Kelly O'Shanassy

The Australian Conservation Foundation go to court to stop Carmichael mine.

Dash Cam: Roo takes on car

Kangaroo leaps car.

Kangaroo could have kept going, jumps car instead.

RACQ releases SE Qld's worst choke points

Paul Turner, RACQ

Paul Turner from RACQ talks about our worst roads at peak time.

Demand for acreage lots pushes up property prices

Property values in Cooroy have increased 25%

Property values jump in Cooroy and Peachester.

How a sacked real estate agent made $725k in four months

Agent is now under investigation by the industry watchdog

RBA warns of future apartment oversupply

Toowoomba: Crest Apartments and Burke & Wills, Ruthven Street ( view from Neil Street) Photo Bev Lacey / The Chronicle

RBA says oversupply of apartments poses risk to household finances