Ballarat fire authorities have a stern message to send the community this summer: conduct illegal burns and you will face the risk of prosecution.
With this year’s fire restriction period beginning on Monday, CFA Eureka Group’s Group Officer Alistair Cuzens said fire fighting crews would not tolerate any illegal burns.
“We’re pushing out a zero tolerance for illegal burn-offs, if there is an illegal burn-off that these guys are called to, we will ring the police or council who will deal with them,” he said.
“We don’t want to be rushing up to (someone) burning rubbish and it turns out to be nothing.
“If we can nip it (illegal burns) in the bud and keep wasted calls to a minimum, then it supports everyone and we’re not wasting staff and volunteer’s time.”
Mr Cuzens said while residents should have already prepared their homes for the summer period, it was important residents do not leave it too late.
“Keep onto preparations around your houses, especially with long grass, leaves and trees,” he said.
Mr Cuzens was speaking at a press conference at the Sebastopol Fire Brigade on Sunday for the arrival of their new strike team lead vehicle.
The new $40,000 vehicle was made available to the CFA Eureka Group following successful state and federal funding and local fundraising efforts.
“We are lucky enough in the aftermath of Scotsburn to be able to get the funding,” he said.
“We used to share vehicles we had within the Eureka Group team, now we have a dedicated vehicle as our strike team leader.
“Not only will it support here around the Eureka Group which takes into account Wendouree, Sebastopol, Buninyong, Ballarat, Ballarat City and Mount Helen, but also support a long way out of the region.”
Having worked on getting funding for a number of years, Mr Cuzens said the new vehicle will help the community for many years to come.
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