Park Rangers are concerned by survey findings that just over a quarter of people know how to correctly extinguish a campfire.
When presented with two options, only 26% of people correctly identified that water should be poured onto a campfire. The remaining 74% thought that a fire should be extinguished by covering it with soil or sand.
Campfires must always be fully extinguished with water, not soil, and must be cool to touch before being safe to leave.
The findings come during a peak time for camping and as Victoria, one of the most fire-prone areas in the world, experiences a period of high temperatures.
With around 10% of bushfires caused by campfire negligence, Park Rangers have been out-and-about reminding people of fire regulations and to be aware of the very dry conditions.
In addition to assisting park visitors, Park Rangers perform an important role as firefighters and will be responding to bushfire situations this summer.
The survey, conducted last month, also revealed half of respondents didn’t know where and when a campfire could be lit in a national park. In national parks, campfires may only be lit where designated fireplaces are provided. Fires are prohibited on days of Total Fire Ban.
Information about campfires is available from the Forest Fire Management website. Before heading out to camp, people should also check the Parks Victoria website for any changes to park conditions.
David Nugent, Director of Fire and Emergency Services–Parks Victoria said, “These survey findings are worrying, particularly given the number of people camping in Victoria during summer.”
“Once you light a campfire, you’re legally responsible for ensuring that it is safe, does not escape, and is completely extinguished before you leave.”
“There’s plenty of information online to help people be fire aware. Now is the time to make sure you know what’s required.”