Fire ban penalties increased
PEOPLE who ignore total fire bans face a $1000 on-thespot fine under new penalties announced last Tuesday.
The penalties can be issued by local governments, the Department of Fire and Emergency Services, the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, and WA Police.
Last bushfire season, 76 fires started on total fire ban days as a result of people ignoring the ban and holding activities such as burn-offs, campfires or using machinery that created sparks, such as angle grinding or welding.
Total fire bans are declared on days when fires will be very difficult to control and are most likely to threaten lives.
Total fire bans prohibit lighting open air fires, which includes deliberately lit fires, burn-offs, cooking with openfire appliances or campfires.
They also prohibit the carrying out of business activities that could start a fire, including incinerators, welding, grinding, soldering or gas cutting.
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.