Forest Fire Management Victoria firefighters are on standby and asking the public to stay vigilant and informed as hot and high fire risk weather is forecast for the state this Australia Day long weekend.

Forest Fire Management Victoria Acting Chief Fire Officer, Darrin McKenzie said, “This long weekend is predicted to be hot across Victoria, with temperatures set to hit the high 30s in Melbourne and over 40 degrees in many regional areas.

“The forests and parks are already very dry and the Fire Danger will be very high.”

Firefighters have attended over 386 fires this season, which is significantly higher than this time last year, and the 30-year average for the same period.

“We’re urging anyone going camping, especially on the long weekend, to stay informed about the weather and be observant of what is happening around you when you are in the bush.

“People must be careful, especially when it comes to campfires as gusty winds will easily carry embers out of a campfire and into the bush.”

This summer firefighters have already attended 127 campfires that have been left unattended or not extinguished correctly.

“Check the weather conditions and if it is a Total Fire Ban (TFB) do not have a campfire. It is illegal to light any fires when a TFB has been declared and that includes campfires and all BBQs, including solid and liquid fuel barbecues, as well as unconventional heat sources such as rotisseries and portable grills.”

FFMVic would like to remind campers to follow these simple rules on campfire safety:

  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 1 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.

For more information on campfire safety visit: https://www.ffm.vic.gov.au/permits-and-regulations/fire-restrictions-and-regulation

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