Police charge three after Total Fire Ban breaches

Police have charged three people with breaching a state-wide Total Fire Ban order after fires were lit over the weekend.

At 2.30pm on Saturday (4 January 2020), 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 2020.

In another incident, at 8.30am yesterday (Sunday 5 January 2020), emergency services were alerted to a small fire in scrubland in the Tarro area, south-west of the New England Highway and John Renshaw Drive, near Maitland.

Police were told that a man and woman had been trying to cook themselves food.

The fire was extinguished by Fire and Rescue NSW and Rural Fire Services members in attendance and the 38-year-old man was issued a Field Court Attendance Notice.

He is due to appear in Maitland Local Court on Wednesday 22 January 2020 for the offences fail to comply with total fire ban order and set fire to land during total fire ban.

A third incident was recorded around 4pm on Sunday (5 January 2020) when officers attached to Monaro Police District were called to a property on Tuross Road at Countegany – 150km south of Queanbeyan – 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 light fire for land clearance/fire break without permit/notice, and cause or set fire to the property.

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

/Public Release. The material in this public release comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.