News National Children rebuked for starting Queensland fires

Children rebuked for starting Queensland fires

A bush fire in Peregian Springs.
Changing weather conditions saw bush fires on Queensland's Sunshine Coast downgraded. Photo: AAP
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Children have ignited at least eight of the dozens of blazes which have contributed to a bushfire emergency across Queensland.

Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll says children have been arrested, cautioned or “dealt with under our restorative justice processes”.

“Some of these have been kids just playing playing with fire, some deliberate and obviously some repeat offences,” she told Seven’s Sunrise program on Wednesday.

“We had a circumstance where a child is playing with fire and got away.

“Every circumstance has been different but all dealt with in different ways. All have been acted on.”

She said the punishment depended on consequences of the fire and “the intention of what occurred”.

The Youth Justice Act allows a child to be let off with a caution if they have no criminal history, with community service and restorative justice orders also available to authorities.

A 12-year-old boy was dealt with under the Act on Tuesday over a fire which destroyed bushland and a section of a storage facility at Woodridge on Monday night.

Three young boys were also arrested for lighting a fire in a storm-water drain at Pimpama on the Gold Coast.

Three teenagers were questioned on Tuesday after allegedly admitting online they were responsible for a bushfire which has destroyed two homes and forced hundreds to flee the Sunshine Coast’s Peregian area.

Two girls were also questioned following a fire that was deliberately lit in bushland at Ormeau on the Gold Coast.