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PWS urges caution on campfires during the holidays


The Parks and Wildlife Service has welcomed thousands to its beautiful campgrounds for the summer holidays, but is urging caution on the use of campfires.

Acting Fire Operations manager Dave Taylor said the North-East and the East Coast are of particular concern.

“It’s a very popular destination for camping during the holidays, with numerous scenic campsites right along the coast, but it’s also quite dry despite recent showers,” Mr Taylor said.

“Humans are the cause of 85 per cent of bushfires in Tasmania’s parks and reserves, and throughout the summer PWS staff are continually patrolling campgrounds and putting out fires that have either been left unattended or not put out properly.

“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 Taylor said that during the holiday period, PWS staff, including rangers, field staff and fires crews, staff have been actively patrolling areas where arsonists are known to be operating, as well as popular campgrounds.

“On days of very 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.”

An additional 24 fire-trained staff have joined the PWS in recent weeks. Eleven of these will join the Fire Crews stationed at Scottsdale, Lutana (Hobart) and Ulverstone to bring the six-person crews up to their full complement.

The remaining staff are available to go on fire duty as required for bushfire response in the coming months. They will also be involved in the statewide Fuel Reduction Burning Program, which will see a significant increase in the number of planned burns.

PWS urges caution on campfires during the holidays

Elizabeth Island in Macquarie Harbour, on fire in March 2014, thought to be the result of a campfire.

PWS urges caution on campfires during the holidays

An additional 24 Fire Crew joined the PWS late last year. They will respond to bushfires and also assist in the statewide Fuel Reduction Burning Program. Pictured are some of the crew during helicopter training.