Authorities are furious after it’s believed a bushfire in Central Queensland may have been deliberately lit by a teenage boy.
The Cobraball fire near Yeppoon, which started on Saturday about 1.30pm, has destroyed a total of 36 structures including 14 homes.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk told reporters “everyone is angry and disappointed”.
“Everybody needs to talk to their children about the consequences,” she said.
“I mean, thankfully there were no lives lost, but it could have been a whole different story.”
Queensland Police Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski told reporters “it’s really disappointing”.
“It starts with parents, so parents out there with your children, talk to them about their behaviour and talk to them about the risks,” he said.
The boy will be dealt with under the provisions of the Youth Justice Act.
The frustration at teen firebugs comes as two boys, aged 13 and 14, were arrested in NSW for allegedly gathering paper, dry leaves and vegetation and igniting it using a cigarette lighter in scrubland adjacent to Casuarina Way, Kingscliff, south of Tweed Heads on Monday.
A man using the cycle path, observed smoke rising from the scrubland, NSW police said Friday morning.
Upon entering the scrubland, he saw the two boys standing near the fire before they allegedly fled towards the beach. The man attempted to put out the fire before contacting NSW Fire and Rescue.
They have also been dealt with under the Youth Justice Act.
Earlier this week two Perth teenage girls were filmed lighting their clothes on fire alongside dense bushland in Perth.
More than 70 fires are burning across the state, with alerts in place for Black Snake, in the Gympie region, and the coastal towns of Woodgate and Buxton, south of Bundaberg, on Thursday afternoon.
There are also a number of fires between Brisbane and the NSW border, including in the Scenic Rim west of the Gold Coast.
‘It’s still volatile’
Fire danger in some parts of NSW has risen again to ‘severe’ as hot, dry, windy conditions put an end to a brief reprieve for bushfire-hit areas of the state.
Raging fires over the past week have claimed four lives and destroyed more than 300 homes.
While conditions eased following a "catastrophic" danger rating earlier in the week, the forecast of hot, dry weather once again poses a threat on Friday.
A severe fire danger rating is in place for the far north coast, north coast, Greater Hunter, Greater Sydney Region and Illawarra-Shoalhaven and large parts of the state are under total fire bans.
"Even though the situation has improved in many areas over the past couple of days, it's still volatile and important to continue to closely monitor," the Bureau of Meteorology NSW tweeted.
The fire at Bora Ridge burning southeast of Casino flared up to emergency level on Thursday, with eight others at "watch and act" level.
More than 1600 firefighters were battling some 60 bushfires on Thursday night, more than half of which were uncontained, the Rural Fire Service said.
As news broke that the death toll had risen to four, harrowing details emerged of the latest victim's frightening last hours.
Barry Parsons' body was discovered in bushland on the southern end of the Kyuna Track at Willawarrin, near Kempsey, on Wednesday night, five days after he was last seen.
Mr Parsons had reportedly been living alone in a shed in the remote area.
News of his death follows that of Julie Fletcher, 63, who died in the town of Johns River, and Wytaliba locals Vivian Chaplain, 69, and elderly man George Nole.
About 60 schools will remain closed on Friday.
The Insurance Council of Australia said insurers had received 730 claim applications, with initial losses totalling $80 million.
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