FIREFIGHTERS and sports fans have blasted Melbourne Heart supporters who let off flares during Albury's A-League soccer match on a total fire ban day.
Twitter fans from across the nation labelled the supporters "idiots", "hooligans" and "morons" after they released two flares following each goal scored by Heart players.
Menawhile, Border firefighters who had been called to battle a major bushfire at Numurkah said the incident was just frustrating.
NSW Fire and Rescue duty commander Stewart Alexander said it was unbelievable to think fans could take such a thoughtless risk in the middle of a packed crowd.
"It's worrying, absolutely," he said.
"Those flares obviously produce a lot of heat and all it takes is one errant spark or flame to start a serious fire, especially in those conditions where we had high wind and low humidity.
"And aside from anything else, they were in a packed oval. They could have hurt someone."
Melbourne Heart and Perth Glory fans who had been following the match on Twitter initially thought it was funny until the fire dangers were pointed out by furious spectators.
A number of people called for police and security to "boot them out", while one fan was embarrassed that such an incident might tarnish the reputation of what had otherwise been a positive event for the Border.
Shepparton's Matthew Galea called for the culprits to "grow up".
"These morons letting off flares in Albury are amongst the dumbest individuals on the planet," he said.
Albury Police sergeant Caroline Epstein said police officers had searched Heart fans at the game and confiscated a number of flares.
Investigations will be made into which laws may have been broken under the total fire ban restrictions.
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