Arson feared in spate of fires
AUTHORITIES fear firebugs are responsible for a series of blazes across the city.
The latest in a string of fires, which burned in bush at Burdell for more than three hours and forced the closure of North Shore Boulevard yesterday, is believed to have started by a car that was set alight.
It comes after crews responded to 15 vegetation fires in Rasmussen, Condon and Kelso last week, including eight fires in seven hours on Thursday.
Police have been checking CCTV cameras in the area.
Rural Fire Service northern region bushfire safety officer Gordon Yorke said the fires were being investigated.
“It is school holidays and there have been some reports of kids running from some of those affected areas,” he said.
“We are urging residents to keep an eye out for suspicious activity in their local areas.”
Most concerning is the proximity of homes to the grassland and bush in the area.
He said it was “unusual” for firefighters to attend one location and then be called to another fire with multiple ignition points nearby.
“We are concerned. We didn’t have a wet season, and an El Nino pattern has been confirmed, so we are looking at below average rainfall and warmer temperatures,” he said.
“The grasses are almost fully cured, the fuel is dry and if we get a warm day with low humidity and winds, a fire will move quickly. We are … look- ing at a potentially busy and early start to the fire season.”
Fire crews were sent across the city on Thursday with two small grass fires near Currawong St at Condon at 4.20pm.
Eight minutes later, two more grass fires were sparked at Charles Moroney Park at Kelso. An hour later, crews were called to a vegetation fire near Stephanie St, Rasmussen.
A small fire was also extinguished near Stephanie St, Rasmussen soon after. An industrial bin was set alight on Resolution St, Rasmussen around 8pm. And a vehicle was set alight off South Beck Rd about 11pm on Thursday.
Woodlands Fire Station officer Phillip McIntosh said no properties were under threat in yesterday’s blaze, with backburning keeping it contained.
“We had two urban and three rural crews here helping to put the flames out. There were no properties under threat at any stage,” he said.
Mr Yorke urged parents to talk to their children about fire safety and ensure their family bushfire plan was in place.
“Our message is simple: This fire season, if you see something, know something, say something,” he said.
Rural firefighters contain a grass fire at Burdell yesterday.