Police charge two after Total Fire Ban breaches

Ian Bushnell 6 January 2020
File photo: NSW Police Force Facebook

NSW police have charged two people in the south-east with breaching a state-wide Total Fire Ban order after fires were lit over the weekend, when out of control bushfires wreaked havoc on the South Coast and in the Snowy Mountains.

Police said that at 2:30 pm on Saturday (4 January), emergency services were called to Cromwell Street in Cooma after reports of a fire in the backyard.

Members of the Rural Fire Service arrived and extinguished a small fire burning in a shallow pit dug into the ground for the purposes of cooking.

Officers attached to Monaro Police District spoke with the owner of the house, a man aged 63, and issued him a Court Attendance Notice for failing to comply with a total fire ban. He is due to appear in Cooma Local Court on Wednesday (11 March).

On Sunday (5 January) officers attached to Monaro Police District were called to a property on Tuross Road at Countegany, east of Cooma, after being advised several small fires had been lit on the property.

A Rural Fire Service crew was on-site extinguishing the fires when police arrived to speak with the 44-year-old property owner.

Police will allege while the fires were relatively small, they were in the vicinity of bushland and the owner did not have a permit to burn during the Total Fire Ban.

That man has now been issued with a Future Court Attendance Notice for lighting fire for land clearance/fire break without permit/notice, and causing or setting fire to the property.

He is due to appear in Cooma Local Court on Wednesday 11 March 2020.

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