With a winter chill descending over much of Australia’s south, grey nomads and other travellers have been turning to campfires for warmth and entertainment … but there are dangers.
Victoria’s Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) has just warned campers not to leave campfires unattended after a bushfire in the Murray Sunset National Park north west of Mildura.
“The fire burnt almost one hectare of Murray River frontage that contained large river red gums, and may have been burning for a number of days before being reported,” said Fire and Land Officer at DELWP, Geoff Tyers. “The fire spread and ignited a 20-metre tall red gum, which smashed into other red gums as it fell.”
And Mr Tyers warned that a campfire could still escape and cause a bushfire, even in winter months.
“You must never leave a campfire unattended at any time of the year,” Mr Tyers said.
On-the-spot fines of up to $455 can be issued for leaving a campfire unattended, with a maximum penalty of up to $15,167.
With a bushfire in the New South Wales Blue Mountains threatening homes recently and out-of-control wildfires in the US currently causing mass evacuations, the potential consequences of mismanaging a campfire are plain for all to see.