Forest Fire Management Victoria launched a campaign to remind campers in the Grampians region to follow vital campfire safety rules.
Grampians region acting assistant chief fire officer Peter Kambouris said they wanted 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,” he said.
“We are keen for 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.”
There have been eight fires caused by campfire negligence in the Grampians region since the start of October.
“This 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,” Mr Kambouris said.
“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 director of fire and emergency David Nugent said campfires could only be lit in designated fireplaces in national parks.
“Our rangers regularly patrol parks, forests and reserves to ensure campers are doing the right thing and to educate visitors on campfire safety,” he said.
“Before you head out, make sure you plan ahead and check the long rang 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 136 186 or 000 if they see a bushfire.”
People breaching the rules could be slapped with on-the-spot fines of $476.
A person could face a maximum penalty of $15,872 if the matter was prosecuted in court. For more go to ffm.vic.gov.au/permits-and-regulations/fire-restrictions-and-regulations.
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