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Keep Your Campfire Under Control

The end of fire danger season in some parts of SA and Victoria signals the start of a cooler season and campfires.

While campfires and bonfires are a great way to spend time with people, Natural Resources SA Murray-Darling Basin (SAMDB) is reminding people to do so responsibly, and thoroughly extinguish fires when they’re finished.

“Escaped campfires can burn significant bushland habitat for our wildlife, some of which are threatened species, so any significant loss of habitat can endanger their survival and threaten other campers in the area,” Natural Resources SAMDB Regional Fire Management Officer Jared Pippos said.

He compiled the following list to remind people about controlling your campfire.

General campfire safety tips:

  • Check the Fire Danger Rating, Total Fire Bans and local fire rules before lighting a campfire.
  • Ensure your fire is clear of overhanging branches, remove leaves off the ground to give a clear space of four metres around the campfire, and away from your tents, tree trunks and anything else that could catch fire, above or below ground.
  • The safest place to light a campfire is within the fire pits or barbeques provided.
  • If you need to make your own, dig a shallow hole, about 30cm deep and smaller than one meter in area.
  • You can make a ring of big rocks to keep your fire contained, but be careful which rocks you choose! River rocks or creek stones can shatter when hot and cause injury.
  • Don’t use flammable liquids like petrol or kerosene to light your fire.
  • Never leave a camp fire alone. Keep water or an extinguisher handy.
  • Make sure your campfire is completely put out with water before you leave or go to sleep.
  • Water is the best way to cool a campfire. Putting dirt or sand on the fire is not good, as the sand or dirt can heat up, and burn you or restart the fire.
  • Bring your own firewood, collecting or cutting down wood in a National Park is not allowed. Dead and fallen timber is important habitat for birds, animals and insects.

Camp safely and control your fire to ensure a pleasant environment for everyone.