CFA and police have zero tolerance for fire starters

THE Country Fire Authority says three quarters of fires that firefighters attend are due to humans either deliberately or negligently causing a fire. 

Loddon Mallee regional commander Mark Gilmore said police and the fire brigade had zero tolerance for people who lit fires on Total Fire Ban days. 

He also urged people using machinery to take care.

"A number of large fires in the past month have been caused due to farmers hitting rocks when harvesting," he said. 

"Farmers are meant to have a fire extinguisher in case a fire sparks. 

"But on really hot and windy days there just isn't enough time to extinguish the fire.

"It just spreads too quickly." 

Mr Gilmore said it was not illegal for farmers to use harvesting equipment on Total Fire Ban Days but legislation was constantly being reviewed. 

"Part of that review will look at these harvesting operations that have caused these recent fires and what the best option is to combat that."

CFA declares Fire Danger Periods municipality by municipality at the onset of warmer weather.

In state forests, national, state and regional parks and on protected public land, fire restrictions are in force all year round. 

Contact local Department of Environment and Primary Industries and Parks Victoria offices for advice on fire restrictions for these areas.

Total Fire Bans are declared by the CFA on days when fires are likely to spread rapidly and be difficult to control.

Penalties for lighting fires illegally during the Fire Danger Period and on Total Fire Ban Days include large fines and possible imprisonment.

Campfires, solid and liquid fuel barbecues and ovens are banned during Total Fire Ban Days. 

For more information go to www.cfa.vic.gov.au/warnings-restrictions/can

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