OUR SAY | Don’t be fooled by talk of frost and snow – fire threat is real

Do you know if you throw a bucket of water on a camp fire it might not extinguish the whole thing?

With a little bit of wind, it could stir the fire back up and with dry grass around, it could easily catch and your ‘extinguished’ campfire suddenly requires a triple-zero call and assistance from our local firefighters to extinguish the grass fire. 

It’s scenarios similar to this that saw firefighters from the Canobolas Zone Rural Fire Service and Fire and Rescue NSW called out earlier this week to not one, but six fires around Orange earlier this week.

High flames and bush fires are usually unusual for us to be reporting on at this time of the year, but with the lack of rain and the large amount of dry grass and scrub around even small embers can set things off. 

Following on from these incidents, it’s about time for a fire safety reminder. 

Just because it feels like there’s been talk of nothing but frosts and snow doesn’t mean fires aren’t a real threat at this time of year.

You’ve heard it all before, but it’s about putting it into practice, and making sure you take that extra second to make sure your campfire is totally extinguished, or you have flicked your heater off in the house. 

So if you are inside make sure you keep everything one metre away from your heater and keep looking when cooking.

Don’t overload power points and regularly check your electrical leads, and always, be prepared with a plan of escape. You need to identify at least two ways out of each room. 

Did you know that the NSW Fire and Rescue firefighters respond to around 4,500 residential fires a year, and half of these start in the kitchen and are due to a lack of supervision when cooking. Don’t become one of those statistics. 

If you are outside – because holidays and weekends still mean camping, even in the cooler weather – so make sure you clear the area around your campfire, and please remember to extinguish campfires properly.

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We’re talking about water and dirt here, before you leave the site. 

Before you light your fire make sure you think about where you are putting it, clearing the area around the fire and making sure it’s well away from your tent or caravan – just in case. 

Also ensure you are aware of campground policies on lighting fires and make sure you use supplied fire places where possible. 

And most importantly, if you see an unattended fire, ring triple zero for emergency services.

Just because it feels like there’s been talk of nothing but frosts and snow doesn’t mean fires aren’t a real threat at this time of year.

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