Slash and burn

A SYDNEY man has been fined for his role in starting a fire that burnt out nearly 200 hectares.

The 37-year-old Greystanes man, who owns a hobby farm, was hit with a $330 fine for “using an implement contrary to the requirements of NSW Rural Fire regulations,” police said.

He was issued the infringement notice after using a tractor and slasher on his Mills Vale Rd property at Fullerton on Friday, January 11. A spark started a blaze on his property near the Honeysuckle Fire trail and almost destroyed a neighbouring home.

However the Goulburn Post understands the man immediately helped his neighbour fight off flames and was instrumental in helping to save the house, along with the owner and Rural Fire Service aerial water bombing.

He was charged just a few days after the fire, police said.

Police were also investigating possible penalties against a Marulan South property owner whose slasher allegedly started a fire near the airstrip on Wednesday, January 9. The outbreak burnt out 30ha.

On the same day the RFS was called to Peelwood where a Sydney man had lit a campfire at 10.15pm during a total fire ban in a subdivision off Rockywater Hole Rd. The fire did not escape.

Police are also investigating the circumstances surrounding this matter.

Steep penalties do apply under the NSW Rural Fire Service Act (section 86).

Failure to comply with a total fire ban direction can incur an $1100 fine; lighting a fire without the required notice to neighbours and the RFS attracts a $550 penalty; lighting a fire without a permit - $550; leaving a fire without extinguishing it - $1100; and failure to provide details when requested by police - $220.

During a total fire ban no fire may be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended. This includes incinerators and barbecues which burn solid fuel eg wood or charcoal, the RFS advised.

Meantime, the Service has declared high fire conditions for today, tomorrow and Friday amid 27, 30 and 33- degree temperature forecasts. No fire bans are in place but RFS community liaison officer for the Southern Tablelands Peter Dyce says people still need to be very vigilant.

Meantime, five tankers comprising 15 personnel attended a fire at Big Hill yesterday.

The blaze started off Jeffreys Rd near the Tarlo National Park at about 11.30am, RFS Southern Tablelands community liaison officer, Peter Dyce said.

Crews had it contained in just over an hour but it burnt through 4ha.

Crookwell RFS crews were kept busy with another fire at Rugby soon after.

The only fire still burning in the immediate Goulburn district is at Badgerys Point Lookout, Tallong which has burnt 64ha of the Morton National Park.

Mr Dyce said the outbreak was safe as it was down in a gorge but was under patrol.

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