’40 degrees and 40 illegal fires on Victoria’s long weekend’!

Here’s a press release from the Conservation Regulator this week:

‘Conservation Regulator and Forest Fire Management Victoria Authorised Officers patrolled campsites statewide and detected more than 40 campfires still alight during a Total Fire Ban, a number that could have been much higher had officers not intervened to prevent several people from also lighting fires.’

The authorities are ‘deeply disappointed’ by this dereliction. Chris Hardman, Chief Fire Officer of Forest Fire Management, offers this advice: ‘Even if it’s not a declared Total Fire Ban day, campers must reassess their need for a fire in warm, dry and windy conditions.’

OK, good kindly advice–but maybe it’s time for regulators to enter the twentyfirst century, and face the fact that no one has a need for an outdoor fire in our summer. Fires should be banned in the fire season.

Here’s another kindly reflection, from Parks Victoria:

‘Sitting around a glowing campfire is one of the joys of camping, but with ten per cent of bushfires caused by unsafe campfires, it’s essential to follow the rules and do the right thing.’

The ‘right thing’ is to acknowledge that in cool summer conditions you can put on a jumper, and you probably won’t get hypothermia.

And Parks Victoria might want to give away the romantic maunderings about glowing campfires, and focus on telling people how to survive the summer without setting fire to the bush.

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