VICTORIA’S fire services are warning the community about the potential dangers of illegal fireworks ahead of tonight’s New Year’s Eve celebrations.
CFA operations officer Chris Jacobsen said the use of illegal fireworks in Bendigo had been an issue in previous years.
He said the potential for a fire to start as a result of illegal fireworks was high.
“First of all the use of fireworks is illegal without a permit and, secondly, everything is dry and there has been no rain forecast, so the potential for a fire to begin is high,” Mr Jacobsen said.
“Unless a person has a permit we will show no sympathy and refer the matter to police.
“It is unacceptable for people to think they will get away with using fireworks.”
Mr Jacobsen said community members who set off fireworks illegally risked a hefty fine, imprisonment, or both.
Melbourne Fire Brigade acting chief fire officer Peter Rau said there would be plenty of legal fireworks on display, including Bendigo’s annual fireworks display at Rosalind Park, and there was no need for people to use illegal fireworks.
“It’s an unnecessary demand on MFB and CFA services at a time of year when the fire risk is already heightened,” he said.
To inform authorities of illegal fireworks, call police on 000.