Ignorance no excuse for lighting fires: $2200 fine

SENIOR Rural Fire Service officials have slammed the actions of an Attunga man who was fined for lighting fires during high fire danger conditions across the region on Tuesday.

Tamworth police have since fined the man $2200 for the offences of lighting a fire in a total fire ban, not giving notification and lighting a fire in a bush fire danger period without a permit.

The 37-year-old Attunga man was dealt with after firefighters informed police of the fire which happened on a property at Garthowen Rd, Attunga on Tuesday.

Police said it appears the land owner allegedly lit a number of fires on the land for back burning purposes and to clear rubbish at the property.

Firefighters told Fairfax the man allegedly did not know it was a total fire ban.

“When it was lit it would have been in very high to severe fire conditions,” Tamworth Rural Fire Service superintendent Allyn Purkiss said. “There is no excuse in the eyes of the law, the law is the law.

“I hope this sends a strong message to the community. Nobody is above the law, in these conditions that sort of activity is just stupidity.”

“Everyone (else) has been really good but there’s always an exception to the rule I guess. The majority of people have been excellent in reporting any smoke sightings and have been very sensible.

With severe fire conditions tipped to be predicted this weekend, Mr Purkiss said local firefighters would be in a “normal state of readiness.”

“We just want to thank all the volunteers for their great work to date and continued efforts. The community should be very proud.”

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