BE FIRE-SAFE THIS SUMMER

CRIME STOPPERS URGES THE PUBLIC TO REMAIN VIGILANT THIS FIRE SEASON.

WORDS TRISTAN TANCREDI

CRIME Stoppers Victoria is sending out a message urging the public to report any reckless or dangerous fire behaviour this summer.

The Reckless Fires Cost Lives campaign is targeted at Victorians to remind them of the dangers and consequences of deliberate or reckless bush and grass fires.

“Whether recklessly or deliberately lit, bush and grass fires have disastrous consequences,” Crime Stoppers said.

“It is a criminal offence under Victorian law to cause a bushfire recklessly, or to be reckless as to the spread of a fire to vegetation or property belonging to another.”

Reckless behaviour includes disobeying restrictions relating to total fire-ban or fire danger periods, burning off without a permit, or using hot tools or machinery that emits flames or sparks on total fireban days. If you’re heading off-road ensure you don’t leave campfires unattended.

“Reckless fires cost lives,” Crime Stoppers Victoria CEO Erika Owens said. “We need your help to keep the community safe from bushfires this summer by being aware of your own fire behaviour and that of others.

“It’s up to everyone to know the fire rules for their local area, or the areas they’re travelling to and to be mindful of their own actions and the behaviour of the people around them.”

Forecasts indicate an above-average fire season, so if you spot any reckless or deliberate behaviour that could lead to a bushfire, contact Crime Stoppers Victoria on 1800 333 000 or at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au. In an emergency, contact 000.

All reports remain confidential.