A man was reprimanded for holding a backyard burnoff during peak bushfire season earlier this year.
Ararat resident Marshall Drake, 47, appeared before the Ararat Magistrates' Court on August 14, where he pleaded guilty to lighting a fire during a total fire ban.
On Wednesday, February 19, 2020, Drake was burning a five-by-five metre pile of bracken in his suburban backyard.
A witness saw the blaze and called emergency services, who arrived a short time later.
Initially, Drake was hostile towards CFA members as they extinguished the fire; however, police officers were able to calm him down.
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Drake told police he did not have a permit for the fire and did not think the blaze would be an issue because it was raining earlier in the day.
Magistrate Simon Zebrowski told Drake it was not up for him to decide when it was lawfully safe to conduct a burnoff.
"February is not the time of year to light a fire," Zebrowski said.
Drake was convicted and fined $400.
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