Emergency services minister announces tougher new penalties for fire ban breaches

People who ignore Total Fire Bans this summer will face tough new penalties with the recent introduction of a $1,000 on-the-spot fines by the state government.

Emergency Services Minister Francis Logan said total fire bans were issued to protect the community and emergency services personnel on days when weather conditions made bushfires extremely hard to control or firefighting resources were stretched.

“During the 2016-17 bushfire season almost one-third of out of control fires on Total Fire Ban days started as a result of banned fire activities - this is unacceptable and we are taking a tougher stance... this summer,” he said. 

“Ignorance isn’t an excuse when it comes to Total Fire Bans, everyone has to play their part and take responsibility for keeping the community safe.

"Everyone has to play their part and take responsibility for keeping the community safe."

Emergency Services Minister Francis Logan

“The introduction of the $1,000 on-the-spot fine means the penalty in WA for breaching a Total Fire Ban is now in line with other states and will hopefully help reduce the risk of devastating bushfires this summer.”

Last bushfire season, 76 fires started on Total Fire Ban days as a result of people ignoring the ban.

Agencies can also take further action to prosecute repeat offenders or more serious offences with a fine of up to $25,000 and/or imprisonment for 12 months.

Total Fire Bans prohibit lighting open air fires which includes deliberately lit fires, burn offs, cooking with open-fire appliances or campfires; or carrying out business activities that could start a fire including incinerators, welding, grinding, soldering or gas cutting.

For more visit emergency.wa.gov.au.

This story Tougher stance on fire ban breaches first appeared on Collie Mail.