With a state-wide Total Fire Ban declared for Victoria on Saturday January 6, 2018, Crime Stoppers Victoria is issuing an urgent warning to anyone considering contravening the fire restrictions- starting a bushfire is a crime.
The crime-fighting charity is urging Victorians to be on the lookout for anyone disobeying Total Fire Ban restrictions, including lighting fires in the open air or carrying out hot work such as welding or grinding.
Crime Stoppers Victoria General Manager Cathy Rhodes said that people who disobey the law are putting communities at risk.
“A fire lit during a Total Fire Ban has potentially disastrous consequences, threatening homes, pets, stock, families, and loved ones,” she said.
“Total Fire Ban laws exist to keep Victorians safe. People that choose to ignore them are putting our communities at risk, so we urge anyone with information about illegal or reckless fire activity to please report it to Crime Stoppers.
“Your report will help to protect your local community from fire and could potentially save lives.”
Penalties for causing a bushfire include up to 15 years imprisonment or fines of over $36,000. The maximum penalty for arson resulting in death is 25 years imprisonment.
People who know of reckless or deliberate behaviour that could lead to a bushfire are urged to report to Crime Stoppers Victoria on 1800 333 000 or at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au. You don’t have to give your name, and all reports are completely confidential.
To read about restrictions during days of Total Fire Ban, visit www.cfa.vic.gov.au/can.
In an emergency, or if you see smoke or flames, contact 000.