Bushfire arson is a crime, and a major threat to all Australians.
The devastation which can occur affects whole communities, and recovery is never quick or easy. Records show that up to 50% of all bushfires across Australia are deliberately lit, or start under suspicious circumstances. This comes at a cost of $1.6 billion to the Australian public annually.
Take action. Don't let arsonists win.
If your workplace, neighbourhood, or district is being affected by deliberately lit, illegal bushfires, there are things you can do to help stop them.
To report a fire emergency call Triple Zero (000).
Before contacting Crime Stoppers or police, it is important to try to gather and record as much information as possible. Every piece of information you can provide is important, and could help the police to prevent bushfire arson occurring or apprehend an arsonist.
If you can, record the details of suspicious vehicles, such as the make, model, and registration plate.
Take note of the description of people acting suspiciously in the area. Note down any unusual activity in the area. The Bushfire Arson Prevention website has more information of what to look out for when reporting bushfire arson.
You can report suspicious behaviours anonymously in a number of ways. You can:
- Provide confidential information to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 (lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
- Contact your local police station, or
- Lodge an
online information report with Crime Stoppers.
Remember, the next deliberately lit bushfire may destroy property, injure, or even kill someone. If you see something, or know something, do something.
Rewards are paid for information leading to arrests or prosecution of arsonists, and you can remain anonymous.
Frequently asked questions about reporting bushfire arson.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) works closely with Queensland Police and other agencies to investigate arson.
Each QFES region has several qualified bushfire investigators available to investigate the cause of a bushfire. The Rural Fire Service also has a number of trained Volunteer Bushfire Investigators, who specialise in detecting the origin and cause of a bushfire. These volunteers have a good knowledge of fire behaviour, and are committed to reducing the occurrences and impacts of bushfire arson in their area.
Penalties for arson
There are heavy penalties for people convicted of arson. A person who wilfully and unlawfully sets fire to anything commits a crime with a maximum penalty of 14 years imprisonment (Criminal Code Act 1899, section 46).
For more information
Fire and Emergency Services Act 1990 (Qld)*
Criminal Code Act 1899 (Qld)*
Australian Government Bushfire Arson Prevention website
*This publication was produced prior to the current government.