Public Told To Be Careful With Campfires
With summer kicking off for another year, the Mallee and the Murray River are great places for a relaxing day or night with a fire and some friends.
Residents and tourists alike are being warned about the dangers of campfires however after 18 incidents involving campfire negligence have been attended to since September 1 in the Mallee region; 3 of which in the Swan Hill/Nyah area.
The danger of the warmer weather and conducive fire conditions need to be recognised according to District Manager for Forest Fire Management Victoria Paul Bates.
“It is very disappointing for Forest Fire Management to deal with abandoned campfires; particularly moving into summer with hot and windy weather.” Bates said.
“People can enjoy a campfire, and that’s alright, but they have to make sure they comply with the regulations and that’s all about protecting the community from bushfire.”
Members of the public can be hit with fines of up to $15,872 if they are found to be breaching campfire safety rules, as well as pay for damages and even face jail time.
Forest Fire Management Victoria recommend that you do the following things when choosing to have a campfire:
- 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.
- Branches and logs on your campfire must be less than one metre long – keep your fire just big enough for warmth and cooking.
- Never leave a campfire alight or unattended. You must maintain a 50 metre line of sight of the campfire at all times.
- An adult must be present at all times when the campfire is alight.
- Ensure your campfire is completely extinguished using water not soil.
If you see an unattended fire or something that looks unusual, call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.