Ig­no­rance plea on to­tal fire ban

Wangaratta Chronicle - - News -

A WAN­GARATTA man charged with light­ing a fire in the open air dur­ing a day of to­tal fire ban said he did not know about the re­stric­tions be­cause he did not watch nor­mal tele­vi­sion.

The man pleaded guilty to the charges be­fore Mag­is­trate Ian Watkins at Wan­garatta Mag­is­trates’ Court this week.

Po­lice pros­e­cu­tor Lead­ing Se­nior Con­sta­ble Heath Dosser said the ac­cused had lit the fire at a camp­site near the Ovens River on a 40 de­grees Cel­sius day to cook marsh­mal­lows for his chil­dren.

He told the court a fire brigade at­tended the site and ex­tin­guished the flames.

De­fence lawyer Nancy Bat­tiato said her client was sorry for his ac­tions and had lit the fire late at night when it was cooler.

Mr Watkins said it was “in­cum­bent” on the ac­cused to be aware of any re­stric­tions that may be in place and there were many camp­fires that get away dur­ing sum­mer re­gard­less of the time of day.

The man was fined $640 and placed on a good be­hav­iour bond.

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