An intoxicated man wearing only one shoe refused to let firefighters into his East Albury backyard last night to extinguish a blaze he had started burning tree loppings.
Just before 8pm, four Albury Central firefighters arrived at the Alexandra Street house and used bolt cutters to cut the chain off a side gate to enter. They had the 10 by 15 metre grass fire out about 15 minutes later.
Albury Central station officer Simon Huggett said the man, in his 60s, appeared intoxicated and was staggering around with one shoe on.
“I think he tried to burn the tree loppings and he couldn’t control it,” he said.
“The whole block could have gone kaboom.”
Albury police, who spoke to the man at the scene, said he hadn’t been charged yet but would face legal action either from them or the council.
Mr Huggett said lighting a fire in a 60 kilometre zone violated council’s clean air laws.