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Big fines for starting a brushfire even if by accident

Big fines for starting a brushfire even if by accident

By Andre Senior. CREATED Apr 13, 2012 - UPDATED: Apr 13, 2012

NAPLES - Southwest Florida fire officials are working to get the word out to residents that, even if by accident, starting a brushfire could lead to stiff fines.

"It really doesn't take that much this time of year for something like this to occur," said Victor Hill of the Florida Forest Service.
In the most recent scare, a fire was started by a Lehigh Acres resident who was cooking outdoors on Thursday afternoon.
"It was a grill fire and there was some circumstances where someone was doing some cooking outside and that's what led to the fire."
Even though the person responsible did not start the fire on purpose, they will be held accountable.
"We did issue the individual a notice of violation, which means that we do have the ability to fine them for the cost that it takes for us to put out the fire."
The fire was only about an acre, one fire truck was brought in -- but a strike team was only on standby because there are a lot of homes in the area.
But the person who accidentally started a massive brushfire in Pine Island two weeks ago will get a much larger fine.
"In Bokeelia, we had multiple units on scene...you know several bulldozers as well as engines out there along with several fire departments and our fixed wing aircraft."
Fire official are trying to get a major point across and that's to pay attention and be aware of your surroundings.
"You can be held accountable if your action do lead to a wildfire whether it was accidental or intentional."
There are no hard and fast numbers as to how much a fine will be as they are assessed on an individual bases.