Sydney - A 12-year-old boy started a bushfire and two teenage girls were questioned over another blaze in Australia's Queensland state, police said on Tuesday as forest fires forced hundreds of people to flee their homes in the country's east.
Strong winds have fanned some 140 bushfires in northern Queensland and neigbouring New South Wales state this week, with flames ravaging thousands of hectares of land.
At least eight of the fires are suspicious, Queensland Police Commissioner Katrina Carroll told reporters, and police said they had questioned three children over blazes.
The 12-year-old boy was questioned after a group of teenagers were found on Monday in bushland near a skate park in Brisbane, Queensland's capital.
The boy deliberately lit a fire which spread to a nearby storage facility, destroying a fence, two shipping containers and their contents, police said.