ON THE LOOKOUT: Not everything was as it should be, according to the pilot.
ON THE LOOKOUT: Not everything was as it should be, according to the pilot.

Suspicious Freestone fire activity sparks police search

SUSPICIOUS fire activity sparked a search for a man in a white ute near Charleys Gully Rd in Freestone yesterday.

A helicopter pilot checking the fire lines for the Queensland Emergency and Fire Service allegedly spotted a man standing near a fire that had ignited on the opposite side of a break, according to Warwick Fire Station officer Dennis Burton.

Mr Burton explained the behaviour was particularly concerning given the containment line was on private property, not a roadway or public access area, and the man was driving an unmarked vehicle.

It is unlikely the pre-existing Freestone fire started the fire observed next to the man, as the "prevailing wind conditions" were headed in the opposite direction, according to a spokeswoman from the Queensland Police Service.

Police were called to assist just before 3pm but were unable to locate the vehicle.

"They searched the area but they couldn't find anyone," the spokeswoman said.

"They couldn't find any other witnesses."

Investigations are thorough and ongoing, according to Mr Burton.

"All fires of a suspicious nature are fully investigated and they do a great job of determining cause," he said.

In the meantime, crews continue to battle the blaze around the Freestone and Yangan valleys.

"It's ticking along as it has the last 12 days," Mr Burton said.

"It burns along the ridge lines, then comes down and gives us a scare, then it goes back up again.

"Crews have been out there monitoring every day and being very vigilant to ensure no structures have been lost."


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