Arsonists strike Coonarr propery again

SCRUB FIRE: Dale Clarey is angry after vandals set light to a Coonarr property. Photo: Scottie Simmonds / NewsMail
SCRUB FIRE: Dale Clarey is angry after vandals set light to a Coonarr property. Photo: Scottie Simmonds / NewsMail Scottie Simmonds

BUNDABERG police are ramping up their efforts to find those responsible for the malicious vandalism of a Coonarr property, after it was hit by arsonists for the fourth time in 12 months.

Property manager Dale Clarey came to the NewsMail on Friday fed up with the arson attacks and $30,000 worth of damage caused to fences and gates at Christmas.

Just hours after his plea for the vandalism to stop, Mr Clarey said he was "dismayed" to learn a fire had been lit on the same property, which burnt through 2ha of land.

"It's so blatant," he said.

"It's just deliberate vandalism."

Criminal Investigation Branch Detective Senior Constable Mark Cartner confirmed police were investigating the fire, which crews from the Coonarr Rural Fire Brigade worked to contain on Friday.

"Police are providing extra police presence and increasing patrols of the property," he said.

While the exact cause of the fire is still being investigated, was unknown at this time Det Snr Const Cartner said fire in a similar area had come dangerously close to homes last year.

"People don't realise how fast (a fire) can spread, they have no control once it's started," he said.

Det Snr Const said the property owner had every right to fence his private property and had already indicated that he wanted anyone caught trespassing to be prosecuted.

Coonarr Rural Fire Brigade firefighter Ted Healey said he was appalled by the behaviour of those responsible, blaming holiday makers who previously used the land to get to camping spots south of Elliott Heads River.

"Locals would never risk their own properties - we are the ones out there fighting the fires," he said.

"They realise how unique and special this area is.

"If others wanted this land then they should have brought it themselves."

Mr Clarey said he had handed CCTV footage to the police and he hoped to see those responsible caught and prosecuted.

Anyone with information should phone Bundaberg Police on 4153 9111 or Crime Stoppers anonymously on 1800 333 000.

Topics:  arsonist coonarr fire

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