Cigarette butts blamed for blazes

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A SERIES of fires on Peninsula Link are believed by Police to be caused by discarded cigarette butts.

Police said they believe that three separate fires were caused by a cigarette butt on 3 January. The fires caused significant disruption to the traffic.

They said a similar incident also occurred at 10.15am on 25 January, with a cigarette butt causing two fires which shut down lanes on Peninsula Link

Frankston CIU detectives have used the incidents to issue a reminder to motorists to be careful when discarding their cigarettes.

Both incidents remain under investigation.

Police said that it is estimated that 95 per cent of fire-related offences are caused by things such as leaving tools or machinery on during a fire danger period or burning off without a permit.

A statement from Victoria Police said “preventing bushfires is everyone’s responsibility and reckless behaviour that starts a fire is a crime that carries severe penalties.

“Anyone found guilty of recklessly or intentionally causing a bushfire faces a penalty of up to 15 year imprisonment. Victoria Police adopts a zero tolerance approach to deliberately or recklessly lit fires in our state.

“Be mindful of your activities during the summer period, and especially on fire danger periods, it could be your actions that result in loss of life or property.”

Anyone with information regarding the incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential crime report at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au.

First published in the Chelsea Mordialloc Mentone News – 30 January 2019

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