Campfire safety is falling on deaf ears

Ignorance, stupidity or irresponsible behavior is the cause of many forest fires in our district

LETHALLY WARM: Campfires are among the joys of camping, but they may not be lit at all on days of Total Fire Ban and must be put out with water before being left. Ignoring this can lead to a court appearance or worse, the destruction of life and property.

AUTHORITIES were shocked at the number of fires found in the Mansfield district on a day of Total Fire Ban early last week.

The Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) district manager Goulburn, Lucas Russell, said campfire safety messages are falling on deaf ears.

“Earlier, rangers patrolled campsites in state forest, national park and reserves around Mansfield and came across around 45 campfires on a declared Total Fire Ban day, six of which were unattended,” Mr Russell said.

“Many forest fires in our district are caused by people, and every year our firefighters are called out to fires started as a result of ignorance, stupidity or irresponsible behavior.

Last Friday – also a day of Total Fire Ban – Mr Russell said DEPI personnel had already called in with information on 10 fires in the district by the middle of the day.

Every one of those (campers) lighting such fires will be written up and taken to court; in fact there will be a number of infringers from each day taken to court.

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