Ciggies blamed for two blazes

AUTHORITIES have blamed a careless smoker for a grass fire that threatened a home near Bilambil.

The blaze was one of two that firefighters suspect were started by discarded cigarettes on the Tweed at the weekend.

A spokesperson for the Tweed Heads Fire Station said the station commander was forced to send a tanker to put out a grass fire, which was presumably started by a negligent smoker throwing away a lit cigarette, at Bilambil about 1.15pm on Sunday.

The station received a second call to put out a grass fire near Piggabeen a few hours later at 5pm.

Although the fire at Bilambil came close to one residence, the fire service reported no injuries or damage to property.

The fires follow repeated warnings by the NSW Rural Fire Service about the emergence of a large amount of new plant growth and the increased the risk of fires in the Tweed.

Residents have been warned against complacency and told to put in place adequate safety measures when lighting fires to burn off vegetation and garbage.

Firefighters stressed it was important smokers be aware they risked starting fires if they dumped lit cigarette butts.

From September 1, all residents wishing to light a fire will need to apply for a licence from their local fire brigade.

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An RFS crew sheltered in their truck as the grass fire overcame them

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