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Take care with campfires over the holidays


The Parks and Wildlife Service is set to welcome thousands to its beautiful campgrounds for the Christmas holidays, but is urging caution with the use of campfires.

Fire duty officer Eddie Staier said with ongoing dry conditions in the eastern part of the State, escaped campfires can present a danger to other campers and the wider community.

"Most importantly, people need to be aware of the weather conditions and any fire bans that are in place.

"If we are experiencing hot, dry and windy weather, it is likely that fire bans will be in place and campfires are not allowed under these conditions because of the risk of escape."

Mr Staier said being aware of fire conditions, restrictions in place and ensuring that campfires are managed appropriately was an important way to reduce the risk of bushfires.

"PWS staff are continually patrolling campgrounds and unfortunately we do find people having fires during fire bans, as well as fires left unattended or not put out properly.

"The East Coast is of particular concern as it's a very popular destination for camping during the holidays, with many scenic campsites right along the coast, but it's also remained quite dry.

"When temperatures rise and the wind increases, these campfires can reignite and cause dangerous bushfires.

"To put out a fire properly, douse it with sufficient water until the entire surface is cool enough to touch."

Mr Staier said that during the holiday period, PWS staff will be actively patrolling areas where arsonists are known to be operating, as well as popular campgrounds.

"On days of high fire danger, we will also pre-position crews around the State, as we know that the ability to attack fires while they are small can be crucial to preventing them from becoming large, dangerous fires."

Parks visitors should be aware that if weather conditions do not improve, fire bans are highly likely to be imposed over the Christmas period or early in the new year. For those relying on fire to cook with, please be prepared and pack a gas stove or enclosed fire cooker.