Three fires in Cloncurry within 18 hours

CLONCURRY police and fire services have labelled a fire that ignited near Chinaman Creek Dam on Sunday as suspicious. 

The fire occurred in bushland between the dam and the Barkly Highway, said Cloncurry police sergeant Matthew Hows. 

A resident phoned emergency services after seeing the fire at about 6pm. 

“Police and the fire brigade could not determine the reason why the fire started so it has been determined suspicious at this stage,” Sergeant Hows said. 

“Police will be investigating that fire further. People in vehicles were seen at the dam at the time the fire was started. 

“Police will speak to witnesses to determine when the fire began.” 

Sergeant Hows said the fire was controlled by the QFES and Cloncurry Fire Brigade by 9pm that night. Parts of it flared again on Monday but inside the controlled area. 

It was the second fire to start in Cloncurry on Sunday. The first fire was caused by a burn-off in Powerhouse Road, but it spread quickly.

Another spot fire started 300 metres away which also needed the resources of the QFES. “That fire was controlled later that evening,” Sergeant Hows said.  

Firefighter John Walton said the fire in Powerhouse Road had threatened four houses. He said there was another fire in the Cloncurry River bank. 

The Cloncurry Shire Council also used heavy earthmoving machinery to stop the fires, he said.