EIGHTEEN bushfires have been caused by campfire negligence in central Victoria this year.
That is why Forest Fire Management Victoria has launched a campaign (pictured) to remind campers to follow the rules when it comes to campfire safety.
‘‘We want to reduce the number of fires caused by neglected campfires so our message to campers is ‘don’t let your campfire become a bushfire this summer’,’’ FFMV’s Tim Wishart said.
‘‘We want people to get out there and enjoy themselves but make campfire safety a priority for their trip by knowing what they can and can’t do.’’
‘‘Bushfires caused by campfire negligence is placing the community and firefighters at risk, as well as potentially damaging the environment and affecting industry and recreational users of our public land.
‘‘It takes a lot of time, effort and personnel to respond to a fire, so when campfires escape and could have been prevented by following the rules, it’s very frustrating.’’
Parks Victoria fire and emergency director David Nugent said in national parks, campfires could only be lit in designated fireplaces.
‘‘Our rangers regularly patrol parks, forests and reserves to ensure campers are doing the right thing and to educate visitors on campfire safety,’’ Mr Nugent said.
‘‘Before you head out, make sure you plan ahead and check the long-range weather forecast. If in doubt on a hot day, don’t light your campfire.
‘‘We are asking people to be vigilant about campfire safety and if they see a campfire that doesn’t look right or is unattended to call 136186 or 000 if they see a bushfire.
‘‘It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure they follow the campfire safety rules.’’
For information, go to https://www.ffm.vic.gov.au/permits-and-regulations/fire-restrictions-and-regulations