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Baby, don’t light my fire: plea to smokers after blaze

PUT IT OUT: Harry Amore stands in the burnt-out landscape of last week’s Curra blaze, believed to have been sparked by a burning cigarette butt thrown out a car window.
PUT IT OUT: Harry Amore stands in the burnt-out landscape of last week’s Curra blaze, believed to have been sparked by a burning cigarette butt thrown out a car window.

THIS week's Bauple blaze may have been started by a loose trailer electrical connection but bushfires at Curra and Imbil recently have both been put down to cigarettes being thrown out the windows of moving cars.

All three fires threatened nearby properties and cost thousands of dollars in emergency service time and hard work to bring under control.

Curra resident Harry Amore feels it is time to speak up.

Mr Amore is frustrated that despite the worsening tinderbox conditions, reckless motorists are putting everyone at risk by flicking burning cigarette butts out the windows.

"Have you seen sheep and cattle burnt to death?" he asked.

It's a grisly portrait of just how one cigarette discarded from a car can cause heartache. 

Fortunately, the dedication of fire fighters managed to restrict both fires from causing too much damage while sparing nearby home owners of tragedy.

But next time could be a different story, Mr Amore warned.

"It's not just cigarettes," he said.

"Even glass bottles thrown on to the side of the road in the right conditions can spark a fire.

"The glass acts like a magnifying glass."

Cigarette throwing campaign story. Curra resident Harry Amore says following two fires in less than a week believed to have started from cigarettes being thrown from vehicles, the time is right to remind smokers of the dangers of being careless. Photo Tanya Easterby / The Gympie Times
Cigarette throwing campaign story. Curra resident Harry Amore says following two fires in less than a week believed to have started from cigarettes being thrown from vehicles, the time is right to remind smokers of the dangers of being careless. Photo Tanya Easterby / The Gympie Times Tanya Easterby

Mr Amore wanted to start a campaign to boost awareness and encourage more drivers to do the right thing.

"Don't throw it, stow it," he said.

It really is that simple.

The Curra resident of more than 13 years is a smoker himself and leads by example.

By carrying little containers when he drives, Mr Amore stores the extinguished cigarettes which he later disposes.

"Just think about your actions," he pleaded with drivers.

Gympie Times

Topics:  bauple editors picks fire gympie smokers



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