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Unlawful burning costly for man

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A Thunder Bay area man has been fined $1,000 for offences under the Forest Fires Prevention Act and ordered to pay the $5,940 cost to extinguish several fires.

Stephan Schmidt pleaded guilty and was fined $500 for starting a fire and failing to leave a person in charge, and $500 for failing to keep a fire under control.

He also was ordered to pay the $5,940 cost to extinguish the fires.

Court heard that on May 20 around 8 p.m., the Nolalu Fire Department responded to a call from a concerned citizen regarding an unmonitored brush fire in her neighbour's field in Nolalu, in the District of Thunder Bay.

The fire department was able to suppress and extinguish the fires.

A subsequent investigation by ministry conservation officers revealed Schmidt had lit several brush piles on fire on his property that day.

Sometime after lighting the fires, Schmidt returned to his residence, where he could not monitor them.

The fires burned roughly 2.6 hectares of land.

Justice of the Peace A. Gibbons heard the case Jan. 10 in Thunder Bay.

For more information on rules to burn wood, brush, or leaves, and how to get a fire permit, visit the outdoor fire rules and permits web page or contact your local Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry office.

To report a natural resources violation, call toll-free 1-877-847-7667 any time or contact your local ministry office during regular business hours.

You also can call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

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