Smoke from the fire near Cedar Creek Falls could be seen as far away as Proserpine.
Smoke from the fire near Cedar Creek Falls could be seen as far away as Proserpine. Monique Preston

Alleged firebug in court today facing multiple charges

UPDATE: POLICE have charged a 53-year-old arson suspect overnight.

Two police fired their guns after the man allegedly rammed a police vehicle.

The Palm Grove man was taken into custody on Wednesday for allegedly lighting three to four fires on a private property in Proserpine.

A helicopter pilot tipped off police after spotting a man allegedly lighting a fire near Cedar Creek Falls.

Police will allege when they located the man, he rammed his vehicle into their car.

He will face the Proserpine Magistrates Court today on a slew of charges including setting fire to vegetation, damage property by fire, dangerous operation of a vehicle, being adversely affected by an intoxicating substance, resist arrest, obstruct police, possess dangerous drugs and trespass.

INITIAL: POLICE are still holding a 53-year-old man in custody after two officers were forced to fire shots at a vehicle in relation to an alleged arson incident.

A helicopter pilot alerted police to a disturbance at Palm Grove about 3pm Wednesday, after allegedly spotting a man lighting a fire near Cedar Creek Falls.

A crime scene has been declared, and the matter is being investigated by the Ethical Standards Command, with oversight from the Crime and Corruption Commission.

Mackay Police District Acting Inspector Damian Wells said about three to four fires were started on a private property, about 1.30pm, and the man was also under investigation for weapons, drugs and driving offences.

Insp Wells said the man was known to police. 

When police located the man, he allegedly rammed his vehicle into their car.

Both police officers then fired shots at the man's car, and he was subsequently arrested.

Insp Wells said the two police officers involved in the incident were an acting sergeant from Whitsunday police, and a constable from Proserpine.

He said the region was in a high fire danger period, and any fire not contained quickly had the propensity to spread and present a danger to people and property.

The pilot who alerted police to the incident has been praised by Insp Wells, who said it was an "excellent" example of community and police working together.

The fire was close to Busy Bees Plants and Palms , and owner Becky said she didn't notice anything until she saw a police car with lights and sirens on the road.

Becky said she then noticed a lot of black smoke around, that looked as if it was coming from Cedar Creek.

Queensland Fire and Emergency services attended to the fires on Wednesday, with two crews being dispatched to quell the flames, but on Thursday afternoon there were reports the area was still smouldering.


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