Juveniles behind eight fires in Queensland: Police


Sydney, Sep 11 (IANS): Police on Wednesday said that juveniles were involved in igniting at least eight of the many fires raging in two eastern Australian states, claiming that out of 10 blazes that were deliberately lit in Queensland in the last few days, eight have been solved.

According to Agencia EFE, out of 10 fires, eight have been solved and in those eight, "juveniles have been involved," the state's Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll said in a press conference.

"Some have been cautioned, others have been dealt with through youth conferencing, and others a notice to appear, and there has been an arrest as well," Carroll added.

"In some cases, it's just young kids lighting a fire for fun, that fire has got away and obviously impacted, in some ways, very badly, in some areas around the state," she said, adding that in the case of others, "kids have got together and purposely lit fire, and in other cases there have been obviously recidivist offenders around arson."

In eastern Queensland there are currently around 73 active fires, which have been exacerbated due to the long drought in the region.

However, none of them pose an immediate threat, Queensland's acting premier Jackie Trad told reporters on Wednesday.

Some evacuated residents of the coastal town of Peregian were able to return to their homes, some of which have been damaged by the fires.

Some 41 fires are also raging in the neighbouring state of New South Wales, where they have devastated over 115,000 hectares of land.

So far, only property damage has been reported, although at least two firefighters have sustained injuries while fighting the flames.

The firefighting teams are working to build containment lines ahead of a weekend that is predicted to have above-average temperatures, according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.

The fire season in Australia varies according to area and weather conditions, but is generally recorded over the extended summer period (December to March).

The most serious fire in Australia in recent decades burned through 4,500 square kilometers (1,737 square miles) in the state of Victoria in February of 2009, causing 173 deaths and 414 injuries.

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