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Explore Three Capes this August


Tasmania's award-winning Three Capes Track has been a runaway hit with walkers, with more than 28,000 local, national and international visitors completing it since it opened in December 2015.More

Flags fly at Mount Nelson once again


Tasmania's first signal station has been restored more than 200 years since it began operation on Mount Nelson.

Southwest ecological burns important for orange-bellied parrot conservation


Planned ecological burns in Southwest National Park will help regenerate important habitat areas for the critically endangered orange-bellied parrot.More

Background notes 3e

3e Why do we have fuel stove only areas?

In the past, many environmentally disastrous bushfires have started from walkers' campfires. It is safer to use a fuel stove instead of a campfire.

Fuel stoves are better for many reasons:

  • They minimise the chance of wildfire or escaped fires.
  • Compared with campfires they are faster, a lot easier to light in wet weather, they don't deplete firewood at campsites and don't leave lasting scars on the landscape.
  • They minimise damage to bush, as people often break down green wood near campsites. Not only does this damage the trees but it also can make the campsite unattractive.
  • It is very hard to start a fire with wet wood. Having a fuel stove ensures you can prepare warm food and drink if the weather turns bad.
  • Fires in peat can smoulder underground for months and are extremely difficult to extinguish. Peat is made up of layers of decomposing organic matter and is the major soil type in rainforest, buttongrass, wet scrub and alpine vegetation. It is illegal to light fires on peat anywhere in Tasmania – this includes lots of popular bushwalking areas, including the Overland Track and South Coast Track.

Fines of up to $5000 can be imposed for lighting fires in Fuel Stove Only Areas.

Before going camping, make sure you check fire restrictions with the park ranger.

In an emergency situation if you must have a fire

  • keep it small
  • don't put rocks around it
  • use an existing fireplace – if one exists
  • use only dead and fallen wood (leave axes and machetes at home)
  • in pristine areas, scatter all traces of the fire when you leave.

Above all make absolutely sure the fire is out before you leave. Put it out with water – not soil. Put your hand on the ground to make sure it is cold!

Going further

See the Tasmanian Fire Service web site