11 Oct 2019 - Rod Campbell
An abandoned campfire that spread earlier in the week could have led to disaster if not for the quick actions of community members and the local Rural Fire Service (RFS).
The campfire was lit and then abandoned by visitors to the Newfoundland State forest, despite a solid fuel fire ban being in place and hazardous weather conditions.
Fortunately, members of the community called 000 and the Clarence Valley RFS responded quickly to extinguish the campfire.
The incident is a timely reminder that solid fuel fire bans are in place for all State forest and people should heed local fire conditions, said Protection Supervisor Tom Newby.
“Campfires and barbecues using wood, charcoal or other solid fuels have been banned in all State forests in the Riverina, Western Plains, North Coast, Northern Tablelands, Central West Tablelands, South Coast and Moss Vale,” Mr Newby said.
“Thankfully this incident caused no damage, but could have easily led to disaster given the hot, dry and windy conditions at the time.
“It is vital that people check for fire bans on the RFS and Forestry Corporation websites before they even think about lighting a fire.”
Failure to comply with the solid fuel fire ban carries a maximum penalty of $2200.
If in doubt, contact your local Forestry Corporation office. For more information or to find details of your local office, visit www.forestrycorporation.com.au.
In the event of a fire or other emergency, contact 000.
Forestry Corporation Senior Manager of Stewardship, Kathy Lyons said that visitors must plan to bring a gas stove where solid fuel fire bans apply.
“Campers and picnickers wishing to light a fire to cook in forests with solid fuel fire bans can only use gas appliances until the ban is lifted, which won’t be until after significant rainfall,” Ms Lyons said.
“This ban applies every day, not just on days when total fire bans are declared, so we are asking people who are planning to camp in the forests during spring and summer to plan ahead and bring gas appliances.”
Visitors should also be prepared for days when total fire bans are declared, as all fires including gas fires are prohibited on total fire ban days. Information on total fire bans is available on the RFS website.
Media contact: Rod Campbell 0428 058 459