Camp­fire safety a pri­or­ity

North East Tourist News - - BRIGHT & DISTRICT -

AU­THOR­I­TIES are re­mind­ing the pub­lic about the im­por­tance of camp­fire safety.

Parks Vic­to­ria act­ing chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Chris Rose said while the or­gan­i­sa­tion en­cour­aged peo­ple to get out­doors and en­joy the weather, it’s crit­i­cal peo­ple don’t leave a camp­fire unat­tended and make sure it is prop­erly ex­tin­guished be­fore leav­ing the area.

“Camp­fires that es­cape are a big prob­lem in Vic­to­ria with about 10 per cent of all fires on pub­lic land started by es­caped camp­fires,” he said.

“While hav­ing a camp­fire is part of the camp­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, we want peo­ple to do the right thing in­clud­ing ex­tin­guish­ing them prop­erly us­ing wa­ter, not soil, as fires can still smoul­der un­der soil.

“If a fire is cool to touch, it is safe to leave.

“It only takes one unat­tended camp­fire to go bush and it can quickly en­dan­ger lives, liveli­hood and prop­erty.

“Campers must make the ef­fort to check the weather con­di­tions to find out fire dan­ger rat­ings and if it is a To­tal Fire Ban day.

“Be­ing on hol­i­days or away from home is no ex­cuse for not be­ing in­formed.

“Camp­fires are not al­lowed on a day of To­tal Fire Ban and it is the re­spon­si­bil­ity of ev­ery­one to com­ply with any declarations.

“Ev­ery year our fire­fight­ers are called out to fires started as a re­sult of camp­fires and bar­be­cues.

“While we want peo­ple to ex­plore na­ture and en­joy them­selves, au­thor­i­ties will be tak­ing a zero tol­er­ance ap­proach to ir­re­spon­si­ble be­hav­iour.’’

To en­sure your camp­fire is le­gal and to avoid a large fine:

Never light a fire on a day of To­tal Fire Ban.

Use a con­structed fire­place where pro­vided. Oth­er­wise, light it in a 30cm trench to pre­vent em­bers fly­ing out.

Clear three me­tres of ground and airspace around your fire of flammable ma­te­ri­als such as leaves and twigs.

Keep your camp­fire just big enough for cook­ing and keep­ing warm – it mustn’t be more than one square me­tre in di­men­sion.

Put your fire out prop­erly with wa­ter not soil. Fires can still smoul­der un­der soil. If a fire is cool to touch, it is safe to leave.

Most camp­fires es­cape when they are left unat­tended. Never, ever leave a fire unat­tended, even for a short while. You must be within line of sight and not more than 50 me­tres away from a camp­fire or bar­be­cue.

Un­der the For­est Act 1958, the max­i­mum penalty for leav­ing a fire unat­tended is $15,167.

In­for­ma­tion about fire dan­ger rat­ings and To­tal Fire Ban declarations is avail­able on the CFA web­site at www.cfa.vic.gov.au or call the Vic­to­rian Bush­fire In­for­ma­tion Line on 1800 240 667.

CAMP­FIRE DAN­GER:

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