POLICE and the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service are investigating the cause of bush fires in the region believed to have been deliberately lit.
Officer in charge of Laidley Police Snr Sgt Jim McDonald said police were following a number of lines of inquiry to gather sufficient evidence to lay charges.
A state of emergency was declared at 5.40pm last Friday after bush fires, fanned by strong south-westerly winds, threatened homes in Mountain Dr and Minden. Residents in the area were evacuated.
The fires started around 3pm on Friday, with fire crews battling separate blazes at Plainland, Hatton Vale, Minden, Mt Berryman and Lowood, with the main effort concentrated on the Minden blaze which was brought under control by 9pm.
QFRS area training and support officer Kaye Healing said early investigations revealed the fires appeared not to start by natural causes.
"After so many unexplained fires in the region, the community is on a vigil to report any suspicious persons to police," Mrs Healing said.
"These people need to realise they're not only threatening people's property, but lives as well."
Mrs Healing said extra units were brought in from Ipswich, Beaudesert and Esk to assist Lockyer Valley Rural Fire Brigades at the height of the emergency.
"There were so many fires in the area at the time our (QFRS) resources were stretched," Mrs Healing said.
In the meantime, police and the QFRS have asked residents to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to Crime Stoppers on 1800333000 or local police stations.
Mrs Healing said residents could contact the QFRS to arrange property inspections to identify potential hazards or fire risks before the main fire season started in the next few weeks.