Ignorance plea on total fire ban
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.