Take care with your camp­fire

Alpine Observer - - News -

FOR­EST Fire Man­age­ment Vic­to­ria has launched a cam­paign to re­mind campers in the Hume re­gion to fol­low the rules when it comes to camp­fire safety.

“We want to re­duce the num­ber of fires caused by ne­glected camp­fires so our mes­sage to campers is ‘Don’t let your camp­fire be­come a bush­fire this sum­mer’,” Gill Metz, as­sis­tant chief fire of­fi­cer - Hume re­gion, said.

“We want peo­ple to get out there and en­joy them­selves but make camp­fire safety a pri­or­ity for their trip by know­ing what they can and can’t do.

“In the Hume re­gion we’ve had far too many bush­fires caused by camp­fire neg­li­gence and this is plac­ing the com­mu­nity and fire­fight­ers at risk, as well as po­ten­tially dam­ag­ing the en­vi­ron­ment and af­fect­ing in­dus­try and recre­ational users of our pub­lic land.

“It takes a lot of time, ef­fort and per­son­nel to re­spond to a fire, so when camp­fires es­cape and could have been pre­vented by fol­low­ing the rules, it’s very frus­trat­ing.”

Parks Vic­to­ria Di­rec­tor Fire and Emer­gency, David Nu­gent, said Na­tional Parks camp­fires can only be lit in des­ig­nated fire­places, so if there are no des­ig­nated fire places, then camp­fires are not per­mit­ted.

“Our rangers reg­u­larly pa­trol parks, forests and re­serves to en­sure campers are do­ing the right thing and to ed­u­cate vis­i­tors on camp­fire safety,” Mr Nu­gent said.

“Be­fore you head out, make sure you plan ahead and check the long range weather fore­cast.

“If in doubt on a hot day, don’t light your camp­fire.

“We are ask­ing peo­ple to be vig­i­lant about camp­fire safety and if they see a camp­fire that doesn’t look right or is unat­tended to call 136 186 or 000 if they see a bush­fire.

“It is ev­ery­one’s re­spon­si­bil­ity to en­sure they fol­low the camp­fire safety rules.”

1. Use a pur­pose-built fire­place where pro­vided, oth­er­wise light your camp­fire in a trench at least 30cm deep. En­sure the trench is no larger than one 1 square me­tre in size and the area around the trench is cleared of flammable ma­te­rial up to three me­tres in all di­rec­tions, in­clud­ing above the camp­fire.

2. Branches and logs on your camp­fire must be less than one me­tre long – keep your fire just big enough for warmth and cook­ing.

3. Never leave a camp­fire alight or unat­tended. You must main­tain a 50 me­tre line of sight of the camp­fire at all times.

4. An adult must be present at all times when the camp­fire is alight.

5. En­sure your camp­fire is com­pletely ex­tin­guished us­ing wa­ter not soil.

Un­der the For­est Act 1958, on the spot fines of up to $476 can be is­sued for peo­ple breach­ing camp­fire safety rules and a per­son can face a max­i­mum penalty of up to $15,872 if the mat­ter is pros­e­cuted in Court.

For more in­for­ma­tion go to https:// www. ffm. vic. gov. au/ per­mits-and-reg­u­la­tions/fire-re­stric­tions-and-reg­u­la­tions.

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