Man fined over fire ban breach
QUEENSLAND Fire and Rescue Service prosecuted a Gympie man this week for burning off a paddock during a fire ban last year.
Jerzy Jozef Sitek, 65, pleaded guilty in Gympie Magistrates Court for contravening a fire ban on November 29, but said he was unaware of the restrictions at the time.
QFRS legal officer Paul Enders told the court the ban had been published in The Gympie Times a number of times prior to, and during the restricted period of November 24-30.
Mr Enders said the fire exceeded the permissible size which was one square metre and Sitek agreed the fire was roughly 1000 square metres in size.
Gympie Fire and Rescue attended the Banks Pocket Road property at Araluen to extinguish the fire and said when they arrived, Sitek and his wife were controlling it with watering cans.
“It could have ended up a similar situation to Victoria,” Mr Enders said, adding that Sitek's actions were a burden of a fire service already stretched during the high fire danger period.
Magistrate Maxine Baldwin said it could have been a terrible situation if a sudden gust of wind caused the fire to jump, and fined Sitek $500.