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Campfire warning for the long weekend
As families prepare to pack their cars and head for the camping grounds this long weekend CFA is urging people to not be complacent when lighting fires.
State Duty Officer Gary Weir said small campfires can quickly turn into large bushfires, even in the moderate weather conditions that are forecast for this long weekend.
“We understand that having a campfire upon which to cook or to sit around is an enjoyable part of the camping experience, but if they are not conducted properly disaster can strike,” Mr Weir said.
“If you find yourself contemplating conditions or whether to light a fire or not please stop for a minute to think about the threat to the community and what could happen if your fire got away.
“It is imperative people follow some simple precautions before and after they light up.
The key things people need to know when having a campfire are:
- Check restrictions for the area – campfires are not allowed in some areas of public land and are prohibited on a Total Fire Ban day.
- Always use a purpose built fireplace where provided.
- If there are no restrictions on campfires and in the absence of a fireplace, campfires should be lit in a 30 centimetre trench, with an area of three metre radius cleared of vegetation and other flammable materials.
- Take care on dry, windy days – if the wind is strong enough to carry sparks, don’t light a campfire.
- Never leave a campfire unattended.
- Keep your campfire just big enough for cooking and keeping warm.
- Put your fire out properly using water, not soil, even if you are going for a short walk or swim.
- Always apply the, cool to touch, safe to leave rule.
“Never leave your camp fire to self-extinguish. Too often our members are called out to reports of a fire only to find a campfire burning or smouldering and no one around. It’s just plain reckless.”
Should your campfire get out of control, do not hesitate to call emergency services.
Victorians can get emergency information from a number of sources including the VicEmergency app, www.emergency.vic.gov.au, tuning in to ABC radio or other emergency broadcasters.
If you need further clarification about what you can or can’t do with your campfire, contact the DELWP or Forest Fire Management Victoria office closest to where you plan to camp.