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Don’t decamp without dousing fire

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June 19, 2017

Campfires must be extinguished well before you leave a campsite.

That is the message the Mid Murray Rural Fire Service is stressing this week after being called to extinguish unattended campfires at the end of the Queen’s Birthday long weekend.

Zone RFS district assistant Terry Campbell said firefighters were asked to respond to at least three smouldering campfires in the Womboota and Barham areas.

He said while these fires had not threatened to spread by the time firefighters arrived, the risk was there.

He said with each being located within National Parks boundaries, the consequences could have been devastating.

‘‘These fires can certainly pose a risk,’’ he said.

‘‘Even though it is cold and damp at the moment, fires like that can keep ticking away without notice and then cause some real damage. It looks like people folded up their tents and just left.’’

Mr Campbell said it was the responsibility of the campers to ensure their fire was completely out before leaving the site.

He said dousing the flames in water and then covering it in sand was an effective way to make sure it doesn’t reignite.

He said campers should be using properly constructed fire pits, dug into the ground and with at least a 3m clearance.

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