| 13.11,19. 04:20 PM |
Cigarette butt to blame for devastating Binna Burra bushfire
Infographic: The Binna Burra lodge, before and after being destroyed by fire. (Supplied: Binna Burra Lodge)
Queensland police say a discarded cigarette likely sparked the bushfire which destroyed 11 homes and the historic Binna Burra Lodge in the Gold Coast hinterland in September.
Last week, police stated they would not reveal what sparked the blaze as they feared those responsible could be vilified in the small, tight-knit community.
But after a backlash from locals, authorities have now released more details.
Do not be an accidental arsonist
Binna Burra Lodge chairman Steve Noakes welcomed the police decision to be more transparent with the community.
"It's nice to know the actual cause of it," he said.
"Maybe it helps to get the message out about how super careful we all have to be at this time, right across Australia with this terrible bush fire season we're having."
Mr Noakes said it was a particular reminder to smokers to be vigilant with cigarette butts.
"Such a small simple mistake can have such severe impacts on people and their lives," he said.
"People really have to take so much care not to act recklessly with anything that can cause a little tiny fire that can grow into a large devastating bushfire."
Mr Noakes believed most of the community will accept the decision not to reveal the identities of the teenagers involved.
"We respect the decision of police, we know they're acting in the best interest of the community."
Queensland introduced laws for dangerous littering in 2011, for litter that is likely to cause harm to a person, property or the environment.
It includes throwing a lit cigarette butt onto dry grass in high fire danger conditions, and individuals can be fined $533.