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Offences & Penalties

Legislated Offences & Penalties

In terms of the Act the following offences and penalties are applicable.

 
Offences: First Category -
  1. Any person who lights, uses or maintains a fire in the open air when a fire warning has been issued
  2. Any owner, occupier or person in control of land on which a fire occurs who fails to take reasonable steps to extinguish the fire or to confine it to that land or to prevent it from causing damage to property on adjoining land,

Is guilty of a first category offence.

Penalty: A person who is guilty of a first category offence may be sentenced on a first conviction for that offence to a fine or imprisonment for a period of up to two years, or to both a fine and such imprisonment.

 

Offences: Second Category
  1. Any person who, in the open air—
    1. leaves unattended a fire which he or she lit, used or maintained before that fire is extinguished;
    2. lights, uses or maintains a fire, whether with or without permission of the owner, which spreads and causes injury or damage;
    3. throws, puts down or drops a burning match or other burning material or any material capable of spontaneous combustion or self-ignition and, by doing so, makes a fire which spreads and causes injury or damage;
    4. lights, uses or maintains a fire in a road reserve—
    5. other than in a fireplace which has been designated by a competent authority; or
    6. for a purpose other than the burning of a firebreak; or
    7. smokes where smoking is by notice prohibited,

  2. Any person who—
    1. fails to prepare a firebreak when obliged to do so in terms of section of the Act (i.e. all landowners are required to prepare fire breaks if the risk for spread of fire is evident and agreement between neighbours re. dates has been set);
    2. fails to give notice of intention to burn a firebreak in terms of the Act;
    3. burns a firebreak when a fire protection association has objected in terms of the Act;
    4. fails to inform adjoining landowners and the fire protection association of their intention to burn fire breaks or block burns;

  3. Any person who—
    1. fails to meet the standards of readiness for fire fighting;
    2. fails to notify the correct persons;
    3. refuses to assist a fire protection officer or a forest officer; or
    4. hinders or obstructs any person or any fire protection officer or any forest officer,

is guilty of a second category offence

Penalty: A person who is guilty of a second category offence may be sentenced on a first conviction for that offence to a fine or imprisonment for a period of up to one year, or to both a fine and such imprisonment.

 

Offences: Third Category
  1. Any person who—
    1. prevents a fire protection officer, forest officer, a police officer or an officer appointed in terms of section 5 or 6 of the Fire Brigade Services Act,1987 (Act No. 99 of 1987), from acting in terms of the Act; or
    2. in any way interferes with him or her in the performance of his or her duties in terms of the Act,

is guilty of a third category offence.

Penalty: A person who is guilty of a third category offence may be sentenced on a first conviction for that offence to a fine or community service for a period of up to six months, or to both a fine and such service.

Negligence amounts to fault for the purposes of an offence in terms of this section.

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