Vandals torch Acland timber stacks

Vandals torch Acland timber stacks

24 October 2008

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Australia — Vandals deliberately lit a fire which swept through three hectares of grasslands near Acland coal mine on Wednesday night.

The fire on the Jondaryan-Muldu Road, 50 kilometres north-west of Toowoomba, was started when roadside timber stacks were set ablaze, according to firefighters.

The windy conditions created havoc, occupying three rural fire crews and an Oakey auxiliary unit for three hours after they were called in at 7.38pm.

“It’s very, very lucky that there was no serious damage,”Queensland Fire and Rescue Service rural operations inspector Bruce Ehrlich said.

“While it’s not arson, because no buildings were involved, it is suspicious and thought to be deliberately lit and has now been left in the hands of police.”

The blaze is one of several this week firefighters have had to respond to including another grass fire at Goomburra, a Preston house yard fire and a Rockville house fire.

Insp Ehrlich said two non-QFRS water tankers responded to the fire, including one from the New Hope Acland Coal Mine.

He said crews had to respond to a second grass fire a short distance away that was also believed to be suspicious, and that increasingly hazardous weather conditions meant the potential for fires to get out of control within seconds was considerable.

“If you want to light a fire, please get a permit, otherwise it is an offence and, depending on the amount of damage caused, quite a costly one.”

Insp Ehrlich said permits could be obtained by calling your local area fire wardens, or by calling 4614 2835.

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