Today, at the Mildura Magistrates Court, a 23 year-old Queensland man was fined $500 without conviction after pleading guilty to lighting a fire in the Murray-Kulkyne Park on 2 March 2017.

treeForest Fire Management Victoria Compliance Officer Geoff Tyers said: The man had been trying to get rid of bull ants near his campsite and decided to light a log near the nest.  

“The fire then spread and got beyond his control.  He then called triple zero and contacted authorities,” Mr Tyers said.

“Parks Victoria and CFA firefighters attended the scene and by the time they brought the fire under control it had burnt an area approximately 15 x15 metres that included native vegetation and a large old Red Gum tree.

“That day had a very high fire danger rating with a top temperature of 37 degrees and wind gusts of up to 24 kilometres per hour.

“It was fortunate firefighters were able to extinguish the fire relatively quickly considering the weather conditions.  

“We want to remind people to use their common sense, stay safe, respect the environment and wildlife and stay informed about the weather conditions when out and about enjoying our wonderful forests, parks and reserves.”

The man was charged with lighting a fire in the open air without the written authority required to do so under section 63(1)(a) of the Forests Act 1958. The offence carries a maximum penalty of a fine of up to $15,857, two years imprisonment or both.