ARARAT - Ararat Police are urging the community to maintain a high level of vigilance concerning avoidable causes of fire after a grassfire on private property in the Ararat area.
Ararat Police attended a fire on Thursday March 6 on a private property which caused two acres of grassland to be burnt.
Police said that investigations showed that the fire was more than likely caused by the use of ordinary household leads joined together to power a farm machine. It appears that with the leads laid on the ground wires have heated up, perished and sparked to ignite the dry grass.
"We are still very much in bush fire season and are expecting further hot and dry weather conditions," Grampians and Wimmera crime prevention officer Eddy MacDonald said.
"This fire could have been much worse if the conditions and elements were against us. This incident may have been avoided by using simple steps such as ensuring that the leads were safe, maintained and capable of handling the power.
"I urge the community to maintain their vigilance and awareness, stop and think, if there's a chance of a spark or source of ignition change your way of doing it or make it safe. Do not be the person responsible for damage or loss of property or at the very extreme, tragedy."
The community is also reminded that a bushfire caused by a person intentionally or recklessly has a maximum penalty of 15 years imprisonment. The maximum penalty for arson causing death is 25 years imprisonment. If you do know something regarding persons committing arson you can provide information to Crime Stoppers confidentially on 1800 333 000.