A camping stove exploded in a fire at an illegal campsite in Mullumbimby on Saturday night prompting calls from nearby residents for Byron Shire Council to deal with the problem.
Stuart Street resident Dale Rhodes said a drug-fueled party was underway at the campsite when the fire got out of control.
Mr Rhodes said part of the camp became an inferno and the camping stove exploded with sufficient force to shake the windows of a house across the creek.
‘It is something of a miracle that no-one was hurt,’ he said.
Mr Rhodes said residents along Stuart and Station Street had been lobbying the council to take action on the illegal campers for years.
‘Illegal camping at or near the Community Gardens has been an ongoing issue for years,’ he said.
‘Despite literally hundreds of complaints to council, council has made innumerable promises but has never once taken any action against illegal campers.
‘Council has had years to formulate and implement a policy on this.
‘For instance, nominate a suitable area where people in need can camp, with essential facilities provided. However council has ignored the issue totally, leaving residents to bear the brunt of seriously toxic smoke, human excrement, etc.’
Mr Rhodes said the fire brigade was called, for the second time this month, and extinguished the blaze around midnight.