Busy start of the year for CFA

District 14 operations manager Trevor Roberts said his teams had responded to many grass, bush and open-paddock fires in the three months.

The Country Fire Authority responded to 1700 fires in the northern and north-western suburbs during the first three months of this year.

New figures reveal the CFA’s district 14, which stretches from Yarra Glen to Melton, recorded the state’s second-highest number of fires in that quarter.

“During summer, we even had a significant number of roadside fires, which are often caused by motorists discarding cigarettes,” Mr Roberts said.

“Cigarette butts need to be disposed of appropriately. They’re not to be thrown from a vehicle; they should be put out within the actual vehicle.”

He said fires starting from cigarette butts could spread very quickly in certain conditions. Although the fire danger period is over, Mr Roberts said people needed to stay vigilant, especially given that district 14 crews were called to 1500 fires in the three months between April and July last year.

“The trend of fires at this time of year is that they start to be more around the home and a lot of them are from around heaters, clothes- dryers, even dishwashers,” Mr Roberts said. “Also, people are starting to use appliances that haven’t been checked properly and for a long time.”

The CFA has re-launched its annual Safe Mistakes campaign to warn about common, but dangerous, mistakes made around the home. Check out Safe Mistakesat safemistakezone.com.au