With the horror of the devastating fires in the Blue Mountains still fresh in people’s minds, alarmed residents in Tura Beach were quick to contact police and fire services when they saw unattended fires burning in a neighbouring garden.
Police and the local fire brigade were called to an address in Kangaroo Run, Tura Beach on Sunday evening, October 27 after residents informed police of a number of fires in the backyard.
Sergeant Cliff Scarlett of Merimbula Police said that the occupant had a permit but had not read some of the fine print on his permit and was therefore in breach of the conditions of the permit. He added that it was likely the man would receive a fine.
Steve Holloway, deputy captain of Fire and Rescue NSW, Merimbula had issued the Kangaroo Run resident with the permit. He said that it was a fairly standard permit that stipulated only one pile of natural waste could be alight at any one time, there was to be a water supply on hand, there had to be a 4 metre clearance around the fire, the permit holder must be in attendance and stay with the fire, it was to be conducted in daylight hours and not if winds were more than 10km/hr.
Mr Holloway said: “The resident was in breach of about five conditions. There was no water supply at hand, there was more than one pile burning, it was dark, the winds were greater than 10km/hr and the permit holder wasn’t with the fire but inside the premises.
“People need to keep in the front of their minds everything that’s happened in the Blue Mountains. You need to operate to the permit’s specifications. Residents should also remember that they are legally liable for any damage if the fire does get away from them,” he cautioned.
The Merimbula Fire Brigade covers Merimbula, Mirador and Tura Beach and said that from a town perspective fire permits are still being issued but only on a week by week basis and are likely to stop in early November.
Sergeant Scarlett asked people to exercise common sense.