ANGRY: Russell Thompson.
ANGRY: Russell Thompson.

We're risking lives: Firefighters slam arsonists

FRUSTRATED firefighters are outraged that a blaze at Meridan Plains allegedly lit by arsonists has cost $30,000 in resources to control.

Almost 10ha of land was burnt when a fire started on Meridan Plains Way on Sunday afternoon.

Nine fire crews, including volunteer rural crews, fought for hours to prevent the fire from spreading to nearby homes.

Sunshine Coast acting superintendent Russell Thompson said while no homes were immediately under threat, the situation could have been worse given the right weather conditions.

RELATED: Police say firebugs lit Meridan Plains blaze

He said a deliberately lit fire, in the midst of bushfire season, was an unnecessary risk to residents and firefighters.

"Every time we go out to a fire we are risking our lives. This was just something we didn't need.

"We are yet to catch anybody, but the fires were deliberately lit," Acting Supt Thompson said.

"There were multiple fires, about four, and we found another few that had been lit and then went out.

"Fires in there would not just start without someone going in there and igniting them.

"If the wind was howling from a certain direction and pushed the fire across the Mooloolah River, we would have been fighting that fire for days.

"We had firefighters on overtime, rurals volunteering their time and police out there. This would have cost between $20,000 and $30,000 in resources.''

A police helicopter was brought in to look for those responsible, to no avail.

Firefighters and police urge anyone who has seen suspicious behaviour in the Meridan Plains area, including strange vehicles and people loitering, should phone Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.