A SUSPICIOUS fire at Cudgen fire on Thursday, which almost wiped out power to more than 1000 Tweed Coast residents, is under investigation by fire authorities.
A SUSPICIOUS fire at Cudgen fire on Thursday, which almost wiped out power to more than 1000 Tweed Coast residents, is under investigation by fire authorities. Crystal Spencer/ Tweed Daily News

Fire pests suspected

A FIRE investigator has been dispatched to the Tweed in the aftermath of a number of suspicious blazes in the region.

In the lead-up to what fire authorities are expecting to be a long and difficult fire season, Tweed firefighters have been forced to confront a number of blazes suspected to be deliberately lit.

On the weekend, Murwillumbah firefighters put out two blazes Captain Greg Hayes called “definitely suspicious”.

They followed a large grass fire at Cudgen on Thursday, which closed Tweed Coast Road and required a quick response from six firefighting units to protect nearby houses.

More than 1000 Tweed Coast residents came within a whisker of losing power due to the fire, which severely damaged a power pole supporting high-voltage lines.

Rural Fire Service (RFS) media officer, Superintendent Matt Inwood, said he could not yet officially confirm whether a number of recent fires on the Tweed were deliberately lit.

“It is unknown at this stage, a fire investigator arrived in the area on Saturday and is investigating numerous fires around the Far North Coast area,” Supt Inwood said.

The Cudgen fire, along with blazes near Uki, Murwillumbah, Tyalgum, Tweed Heads and Lake Ainsworth near Lennox Head, are all on the list for investigation.

But Capt Hayes confirmed that two fires the Murwillumbah Fire Brigade dealt with over the weekend were deliberately lit.

“They were definitely suspicious, there was no way they could have started by themselves,” he said.

On Saturday at 9am, firefighters had to put out a 300-square-metre blaze at West End Street, then had to return at 6pm Sunday night when children were seen attempting to relight the area. The site required numerous visits, as the fire continued to smoulder in the peat.

Mr Hayes said at 11pm on Saturday night a stack of hay bales was set alight on Reserve Creek Road.

The blazes come as the Tweed enters the most dangerous time of year for fires.

“We are preparing for what is shaping up as a quite difficult and long fire season,” Supt Inwood said.

He said forecasts from the Bureau of Meteorology indicated it would be a dangerous season and the RFS was putting in place processes to minimise the risk.

Supt Inwood said the thought of anyone lighting a fire for fun was “ridiculous”.

“That is not something we hope people want to be doing. That is beyond comprehension why someone would want to do that.”



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