A fire in Bullengarook this morning (Thursday 18 April) was started by an abandoned campfire.
Firefighters from Bullengarook were paged at 6.45am to a log fire at a campsite at the intersection of Carrolls Lane and Fingerpost Road, an area bordering the Lerderderg State Park in Bullengarook.
Crews arrived to find a campfire left unattended with rubbish including food, alcohol containers and even a tent left to burn on the campfire, which then spread to a nearby fallen tree.
Two tankers were required to bring the fire under control, with a large volume of water needed to extinguish the log after it was cut open and broken up.
The fire was deemed under control at 7.08am with firefighters remaining on scene to mop up and black out for a further hour.
CFA reminds people camping over the Easter weekend to practise responsible campfire management so there are no other incidents firefighters need to attend.
“We are anticipating many Victorians to make the most of the long weekend and travel across the state. Whether you plan on camping or staying in a rental property, please download the VicEmergency application so you can receive emergency warnings as soon as possible,” Acting Chief Officer Gavin Freeman said.
“It is understandable to want to have a campfire while camping, but if they are not used responsibly disaster can strike, we’re asking all Victorians that go camping to consider whether conditions are safe before lighting up as campfires can get away very quickly.
“Victorians must be sure never to leave their campfires unattended, and when leaving to make sure the fire is totally extinguished.
“It’s still dry and it’s going to be hot out there, please make our jobs easier and be sensible and safe with fire.”
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.
For more information please refer to the CFA ‘Can I or Can’t I?” guide here: https://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/war...
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.