The series of massive bushfires that have swept through large parts of New South Wales this last week causing traffic chaos and threatening homes are yet another reminder of the huge threat they will pose this year as the weather heats up.
As always, grey nomads are being urged to be vigilant, and to be especially careful when lighting campfires. At least one of the recent bushfires – near Port Stephens – was started when a campfire got away. Two 16 year-old-boys have been arrested after they lit the campfire during a total fire ban in the Shoal Bay area.
Grey nomads and others who enjoy travelling in remote bushfire-prone country need to be aware of – and respectful of – total fire bans and prohibited burning days. Travellers should always monitor radios and local media to keep themselves informed of their obligations and of any threats.
Last year, after the terrible bushfires near Esperance in WA which claimed a number of lives, the state’s Department of Fire and Emergency Services Goldfields regional superintendent, Trevor Tasker, said grey nomads and other travellers had to be responsible.
“Travellers are our biggest risk, because they camp and start campfires,” he said. “I’d say that in those regions, particularly east of here, 90% of our fires are caused by campers. Even though we’re putting signage out there, a lot of them don’t take notice of that, and you just can’t get through to some people.”
With searing temperatures already being recorded around the country, experts are certain that this is going to be a long, frightening bushfire season.
In September this year, grey nomads were warned that it was could be a particularly nasty bushfire season and, just last month, campers were forced to make a dramatic escape as a huge bushfire descended on their remote campsite.
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