Campers across north east Victoria are reminded to follow the rules when it comes to campfire safety during the spring school holidays.

Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMVic) Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Jarrod Hayse said: “Since the beginning of September we’ve had 17 fires on public land across the Hume region, with approximately six caused by campfire negligence.”  

“Most recently, a suspected unattended campfire caused a three-hectare fire in Kialla yesterday afternoon. Luckily fire crews were able to contain the fire before it spread.”

“Unattended campfires can lead to bushfires, placing the community and firefighters at risk, as well as potentially damaging the environment.”

“School holidays are always a busy time as we see an increase in visitors to the region.”

“We want people to get out and enjoy our parks and State Forests and make campfire safety a priority for their trip by knowing what they can and can’t do.”

“Our authorised officers will be patrolling our parks and forests over the holiday period to ensure campers are doing the right thing and to educate visitors on campfire safety.

“We’re also asking people to be vigilant, and if they see a campfire that doesn’t look right or is unattended, call 000.

“It’s everyone’s responsibility to ensure they follow the campfire safety rules,” Mr Hayse said.  

Campers are urged to obey the following campfires regulations, if it’s not a Total Fire Ban day:

1.Use a purpose-built fireplace where provided, otherwise light your campfire in a trench at least 30cm deep. Ensure the trench is no larger than one square metre in size and the area around the trench is cleared of flammable material up to three metres in all directions, including above the campfire.
2.Branches and logs on your campfire must be less than one metre long – keep your fire just big enough for warmth and cooking.
3.Never leave a campfire alight or unattended.  You must maintain a 50-metre line of sight of the campfire at all times.  
4.An adult must be present at all times when the campfire is alight.  
5.Ensure your campfire is completely extinguished using water, not soil.

Under the Forest Act 1958, on the spot fines of up to $484 can be issued for people breaching campfire safety rules and a person can face a maximum penalty of up to $16,119 if the matter is prosecuted in Court. For more information go to https://www.ffm.vic.gov.au/permits-andregulations/fire-restrictions-andregulations or contact 136 186.

Unattended campfire at Kialla