Man accused of lighting bushfires held in custody

UPDATE: A man charged with deliberately lighting bushfires near Gatton and Laidley has been remanded in custody after his charges were heard in Ipswich Magistrates Court this morning.

Benjamin Luke Kazda, 27, of Mt Berryman, is charged with six counts of endangering property by fire relating to alleged offences in the Blenheim and Mt Berryman area between September 14 and October 10.

On each occasion it is alleged grass fires were lit in areas that were likely to endanger dwellings.

Kazda did not appear in person - to the disappointment large contingent of television media that had gathered outside the court.

He did not make an application for bail and the matter was adjourned until Thursday.


2AM: Police have charged a Lockyer Valley man with multiple counts of arson, following a lengthy investigation into dozens of suspicious grassfires between Gatton and Laidley.

The 27-year-old accused was charged as part of Operation Kilo Alliance, a joint investigation between State Crime Operations Command's Arson Investigation Unit, detectives from the Southern Region, the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service and the Queensland Rural Fire Service.

Southern Region crime co-ordinator Detective Inspector Darrin Shadlow said the man was accused of deliberately lighting a series of fires since July this year.

"Since July 24, it is believed in excess of 70 wildfires have occurred in the area with many alleged to have been deliberately lit and with the potential to damage or completely destroy houses and sheds," Insp Shadlow said. The man is to appear in the Ipswich Magistrates Court today.

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