THE grass fire on the New England Highway at Halcombe Hill, near Aberdeen yesterday began when a camper trailer travelling south, lost a wheel and the metal rim sparked a fire.
Aberdeen and Scone Rural Fire Services attended and were able to extinguish the fire quickly.
There was community speculation a cigarette may have been the cause of ignition and while it was not the case in this instance, Inspector Ben Shepherd from the NSW Rural Fire Service has reminded people not throw cigarettes out the window on any day and encouraged people to report any instances.
“There is a $660 fine for throwing a cigarette out the window and that doubles to $1,320 during a total fire ban,” said Inspector Shepherd.
“People can report them through the RFS website they need to fill out details, including the registration of the vehicle, what direction it was travelling in and who threw the cigarette, because sometimes it can be the passenger,” he said.
“It may not start a fire that time, but with that kind of habit it can and then impact on homes and roads,” he said.
“In the first instance they are given a warning, then they are issued with a fine, but if an authorised member sees it they can issue the fine in the first instance,” he said.
“There is no need to call 000, but there is a real risk especially in the current environment, so it is important for people to report the details,” he said.
“If you do see an unattended fire please ring 000 immediately,” Inspector Ben Shepherd said.
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