You are here

Home > About > News > Campfire safety warning this Christmas

News

Campfire safety warning this Christmas

Saturday 22 December, 2012

Campers and day-trippers this Christmas period are being warned that unattended campfires can quickly turn into bushfires.

Minister for Environment and Climate Change Ryan Smith said every holiday period Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) and Parks Victoria officers see a spate of campfires in national parks and state forests left unattended or not put out properly, that in the right conditions could quickly flare up.

"About 10 per cent of fires in Victoria’s parks and forests are started by campfire escapes, and that’s 10 per cent of bushfires that could have been prevented," Mr Smith said.

"Many parts of the state are drier this year than in the past couple of years and with a bit of wind, sparks can carry and start a bushfire quickly."

The key things people need to do 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.
  • If your campfire is cool to touch it is safe to leave.

Mr Smith said while campfires were part of the outdoor experience, if not used properly they could cause a massive amount of destruction.

"Another option for cooking is using fuel stoves, as they are cleaner, cook faster and don’t leave a mark on the landscape," Mr Smith said.

"If you need clarification about what you can or can’t do with your campfire, contact the DSE or Parks Victoria office closest to where you plan to camp."

For information on burns and fires in Victoria and general fire safety advice, please contact the Victorian Bushfire Information Life on freecall 1800 240 667. Callers who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech/communication impairment may call textphone/telewriter (TTY) on 1800 122 969.

What's on

Click to view RSS Feed

Palimpsest: Minela Krupic

5 Apr 2014 12:00am - 30 Apr 2014 12:00am

Award winning artist Minela Krupic is bringing her poignant and thought-provoking first solo exhibition Palimpsest to Point Nepean National Park. The Palimpsest exhibition explores the stories of migrants quarantined at Point Nepean through collected images of them. A palimpsest is a manuscript from which the text has been scraped or…

Click to view RSS Feed

Junior Ranger Easter holiday Activities

5 Apr 2014 12:00am - 20 Apr 2014 12:00am

Discover life in a Mansion at Werribee Park. Check out the full list of activities and book in here.

Click to view RSS Feed

Junior Ranger Holiday Activities

5 Apr 2014 12:00am - 20 Apr 2014 12:00am

Join Parks Victoria for some fun Junior Ranger activities at Point Nepean National Park. Check out the full list of activities here.

Click to view RSS Feed

Easter Holiday Programs

8 Apr 2014 12:00am - 20 Apr 2014 12:00am

This Easter, join a Parks Victoria ranger to discover the secrets and features of Victoria’s parks. A variety of Discovery Walks and tours including Junior Ranger activities for children and their families are available from 8 to 20 April. For more information and to book click here or phone 13…