Alleged Qld arsonist's 'stupid behaviour'
A suspected arsonist who police say rammed a patrol car, forcing officers to open fire on him in Queensland's north, is now helping with their investigations.
The 53-year-old man spent the night in a Proserpine hospital, near the Whitsundays, after being spotted by a helicopter pilot lighting "three or four" fires, police say.
The man rammed a police car when it arrived at the Cedar Creek Falls property on Wednesday, according to police.
Police opened fire, but did not hit the man. The Ethical Standards Command is investigating the decision to open fire on the man, who is yet to be charged.
The man, who is known to police, was taken to hospital with minor injuries as a result of the crash.
Inspector Damien Wells said lighting fires in dangerous bushfire conditions was "stupid, dangerous and reckless behaviour".
Insp Wells praised the efforts of the helicopter pilot and said police would not hesitate to take action on reports of bushfires.
He says police are also investigating potential weapons and drug offences at the property.
Police Minister Mark Ryan says arsonists will pay a heavy price for lighting fires amid the worst start to Queensland's bushfire season on record.
"We'll find out who did it and they'll feel the full force of the law," he told ABC.
Earlier this week he told parliament nine adults and 21 young people had been dealt with for offences relating to deliberately lighting recent fires, including blazes that destroyed homes and businesses over the past two weeks.
Many fires continue to burn across the state but none are currently posing a threat to property or life.
Authorities are keeping a close eye on a fire sparked by a lightning strike on North Stradbroke Island off Brisbane on Tuesday.
Five people spent the night in an evacuation centre at the Dunwich Community Hall, with the fire burning in inaccessible swampland south of nearby Amity Point. The evacuation centre remains open but there's no immediate threat.
Water bombers are continuing to fight the fire on Thursday.
© AAP 2019