Drivers slammed for cigarette butt litter

AS FIRES destroy the outer areas of Ballarat, ignorant drivers have almost caused the city to burn. 

A small fire was caused on Tuesday near the Arch of Victory after it was thought cigarette butts were thrown out of a car window. 

Ballarat North resident Margaret Lane said she was driving her car when she noticed smoke.

“I thought perhaps people were doing some work there, but there was no one around so I parked the car as quickly and safely as I could,” Ms North said. 

“I saw smoke coming up and red flicking flames. What I did was quite simple, I got a stick and separated the burning part from the others, got it on the pavement so it couldn’t spread.”

Rob McLennan, who was driving by, pulled over to offer assistance. 

“A very nice tradie then asked if I needed any help – and I asked if he had any water,” Ms Lane said.

“He said he had coke – so I said that will do and he poured it over it to put it out.”

Ballarat City fire station senior station officer David Mounier said the incident showed good work by a member of the community.

“If you do notice a fire, and it is safe to put it out we encourage you to do so and contact 000 as quickly as possible,” he said. 

Three trucks from the fire brigade were sent to attend the incident on Sturt Street, after Ms Lane had it under control.

“By throwing your cigarette butt out the window, you are allowing a fire to burn in the open air, which is illegal and you can be fined,” Mr Mounier said.

“Some people think it’s innocuous to throw your cigarette butt out of a car window – but they can and do cause fires. 

“Definitely at this time of year with how dry the area is around Ballarat, it’s a silly thing to do.”

Ms Lane said she was petrified of fires and was glad she happened to be there. 

“There are just some silly idiots out there who take absolutely no notice of all the fire warnings,” she said.

“There is no excuse for people to throw their butts out of the window. ”

nicole.cairns@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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