Landowner’s bamboo blaze breached local fire ban
A LANDOWNER who set a patch of bamboo alight during a fire ban has copped a heavy fine after facing court.
Ipswich Magistrates Court heard concerned neighbours phoned the fire brigade when they saw flames of a considerable height at William Jardine’s property in December last year.
Jardine said he had the fire under control, and was planning to use a grader to push the burning bamboo into a dam.
On Tuesday the 59-year-old pleaded guilty to contravening a local fire ban at Main St, Lowood.
Prosecutor Sergeant Paul Caldwell said Jardine came to the attention of authorities after he lit a fire on his Lowood property at 8pm on Thursday, December 10.
Sgt Caldwell said the fire was intended to burn green waste but Jardine then took the coals and put them over a patch of bamboo.
Sgt Caldwell said the height of the flames caused concern for nearby residents and four crews of firefighters were sent to investigate.
When spoken to at 10pm that night Jardine told officers he was burning off excess waste, and said he had made no inquiries as to any fire bans that were in place at the time.
Sgt Caldwell said Jardine told them he had been in control of the situation and had the grader and could simply push the burning bamboo into the dam.
The court heard there had been some reports of small spot fires from embers.
Sgt Caldwell said Jardine stated he checked the weather online before starting a fire and believed it was a good time to burn because there was rain coming the following day.
In his argument Jardine told Magistrate Donna MacCallum he had a three hectare property.
“The clump of bamboo was right on the edge of my dam. Two days prior we had rain,” he said.
“No embers were going onto other properties. I don’t tell lies.
“I did light the fire. We did have record rain the next day.
“Now I do check that there is not a fire ban.”
Jardine said the fire was not out of control but he accepted that fire trucks and crews were called to the scene.
“I couldn’t talk to them as they were screaming at me,” he said.
Ms MacCallum noted that Jardine had no prior history.
Jardine was fined $1000. No conviction was recorded.