News & Media

CFA says: Don’t be a butthead

By: CFA Media

Category: Community Safety

  12.22 PM 12 January, 2017

Location: General

Views: 2494

It’s easy to be complacent; to think that your behaviour won’t affect anyone else, but even the small act of throwing a cigarette butt from your car makes you a butthead.

CFA Deputy Chief Officer Garry Cook said foolish behaviour like flicking a cigarette butt into roadside grass could result in significant fires.

“Not only is this foolish but it is a crime,” he said.

“Fires can start anywhere and at any time. In Victoria, more than half of bushfires are deliberately lit or caused by reckless behaviour.

“One of the most common causes is inappropriately disposing of cigarette butts.

“Recklessly caused fires are often viewed by the community as accidental, but in reality, the potential for injury, loss of life, property damage and drain on resources is the same as that caused by arson.”

In the last five years CFA has attended approximately 200 roadside grassfires, caused by cigarettes.

Mr Cook said that while municipalities were continually working to reduce long grass and fuel loads on roadsides, CFA was asking the community to do their part too.

“Under the right conditions fires can start and spread faster than you can run and smoke can blanket the road in no time,” he said.

“Roadside fires pose a significant danger to drivers not only from smoke, but flames or falling burning trees or branches, and there’s high potential for tragic consequences.”

Across the country cigarette butts also make up approximately 50 per cent of rubbish.

Last financial year EPA Victoria handed out more than $6.5 million in fines to more than 15,000 Victorians for discarding litter from their vehicles.

If you see behaviour like this, report it to EPA Victoria on 1300 EPA VIC (1300 372 842).

Last Updated: 12 January 2017