Australia: Teenage boy charged with starting bushfire


A teenage boy was charged with starting a bushfire in Australia as firefighters engage in all-out rescue efforts, local media reported Thursday.

Police accused the boy,16, of starting a fire in Central Queensland that allegedly gutted 14 houses, ABC News reported. The Central Queensland fire is one of 75 bushfires that are still ongoing in the two most affected provinces of the country.

In a separate case, two men were charged with lighting fires in Sydney despite a fire ban in place, daily Sydney Morning Herald said.

Bushfires in Queensland and New South Wales that spread last week triggered by gusty winds and hot weather have claimed four lives and destroyed at least 300 houses.

At least 1,000 firefighters and 70 helicopters are engaged in the rescue operations besides a number of volunteers.

Many people were forced to spend the night on the roads in their cars as the fire gutted their property.

Strong winds tossed cars and houses into the fire.

In 2009, the Australian state of Victoria was hit by deadly bushfires from Feb. 7 until March 14 killing nearly 173.
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