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Media Release

Careless disposal of cigarette butts an offence
Saturday 11 January 2014 – 3:00 PM
A number of small grass and scrub fires have started today through the careless disposal of cigarettes.
The Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) is urging smokers to properly dispose of cigarettes due to their ability to start bushfires in dangerous fire weather.
During a Total Fire Ban it is illegal to carelessly dispose of burning tobacco, cigarettes, cigars or a match. This can attract a fine of up to $5,000 for an individual.
DFES Duty Assistant Commissioner Gary Gifford said people were threatening community safety by failing to give a second thought to the bushfire risk cigarettes pose.
“Cigarettes are on fire so when you toss them away into the bush or mulch while taking a walk or in your car you are effectively holding a match to bushland,” Mr Gifford said.
“No matter what time of the year or weather conditions always put your cigarette out properly and make sure it is extinguished.
“While it may be the last thing on your mind, small careless actions like flicking your cigarette butt can cause major bushfires.”
 If you witness an offence take note of the following important information:
  • vehicle registration
  • make and model of the vehicle
  • a detailed description of the offender
  • time and place that the offence was committed.
You can report the offence to WA Police Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
For more information on reporting cigarette litter all year round visit the Keep Australia Beautiful WA website www.kabc.wa.gov.au.
For bushfire safety and Total Fire Ban information visit www.dfes.wa.gov.au.


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