Forest Fire Management Victoria has a simple message for the bushfire season – ‘If your campfire is Cool To Touch, you are safe to leave’.
“We want this message to resonate with campers because prevention is the best way of reducing bushfire risk to Victorian communities,” said Forest Fire Management Victoria’s Regional Manager, Forest Fire Operations Hume Shaun Lawlor.
“Unattended campfires or those that are not extinguished properly are the most common cause of bushfires in the Hume Region.
“During the past five bushfire seasons (since 2011/12) in the Hume Region, campfires/barbecues and unattended campfires have accounted for more than 50 percent of bushfires.
“We want people to visit our beautiful parks and forests and enjoy everything the environment has to offer, but we also want people to understand the risks when it comes to campfires.
“Campfires should always be extinguished with water and not soil, and must be ‘Cool To Touch’ before leaving. Leaving hot embers on a summer day in bushland is asking for trouble.
“Campfires are not to be lit on days of Total Fire Ban under any circumstances and any previously ignited fire must be extinguished by midnight before the ban commences.
“Campers need to be proactive and seek information before heading into the bush.
“Days of Total Fire Ban are a lethal combination of heat, dryness and wind, and make bushfires difficult to control.”
If you see anyone behaving suspiciously or irresponsibly, call 136 186 and report it, or contact your local DELWP or Parks Victoria office, or police station.
Those caught doing the wrong thing can be prosecuted under the Country Fire Authority (CFA) Act 1958.
For further information, visit www.delwp.vic.gov.au.