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Chief fire officer urges people to take care this long weekend in Grampians region’s forests and parks

Jasmine Jagen cools down at the 2018 Grampians Music Festival.

Jasmine Jagen cools down in the Grampians.

Victorians are reminded to be safe and do the right thing while enjoying the Grampians parks and state forests this Australia Day long weekend.

“Whether you’re camping, walking, riding or driving this long weekend, we all have a responsibility when it comes to making sure people take care in Grampians parks and forests,” Forest Fire Management Victoria Grampians assistant chief fire officer, Tony English said.

“Illegal campfires, the dumping of rubbish, damage to forest roads and vandalism is unacceptable. We encourage everyone to respect the bush and remember if you take it in, take it out – use the bins provided or take your rubbish home with you,” Mr English said.

“Many camping grounds in Grampians forests are free for visitors to use and enjoy, and campers should use common sense and set a good example by behaving responsibly.

“Approximately 10 percent of Victoria’s fires are caused by campfires. In the Grampians Midlands district so far this summer, firefighters have responded to 23 unattended campfires. We remind forest users that campfires must be extinguished with water, and it is illegal to have a campfire on a day of Total Fire Ban. There are on-the-spot fines up to $476 for people who do not comply with campfire rules, and a person can face a maximum penalty of up to $15,872 if the matter is prosecuted in Court.

“Our officers will try to get to as many sites as possible but we can’t be everywhere. We ask the public to help by keeping an eye out and reporting any suspicious or illegal behaviour to the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning on 136 186.

“The region is set to experience hot temperatures leading into the long weekend, with a Very High rating on Thursday and an Extreme fire danger rating on Friday.

“Extreme heat kills more Australians than any natural disaster, drink plenty of water and look after others, particularly those most at risk such as your neighbour living alone, the elderly, the young, people with a medical condition and don’t forget about your pets.

“Animals can also be affected by hot weather, if you come across wildlife that appear lethargic, non-responsive or sick, contact a wildlife rehabilitation organisation, vet or Wildlife Shelter or Foster Carer for further assistance.”

For more information on campfire safety visit https://www.ffm.vic.gov.au/permits-and-regulations/fire-restrictions-and-regulations

More information on the Total Fire Ban, fire danger ratings and Heat Health Alerts is available at http://emergency.vic.gov.au.

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Posted on Jan 23 2019

Posted by on Jan 23 2019. Filed under Environment, Health & Lifestyle, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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