Around this time of year we’re all wrapping up for extra warmth with the heating on full blast and a few logs in the fireplace. However, across the other side of the world in parts of Australia, the danger is quite the reverse: forest fires are starting to spread across Queensland and New South Wales. Often forest fires do happen naturally – it is nature’s way of getting rid of loose debris – but quite often fires are started by unwitting campers.
Avoid Naked Flames at All Times
It’s absolutely vital that campers heed any advice about using naked flames near their campervan or motorhome. Not only is canvas incredibly flammable, and you campervan insurance policy is unlikely to reimburse any costs caused by naked flames, but dry woodland and dead foliage also burns incredibly quickly. A dropped match can be the start of a serious fire.
Be Careful When Smoking
Cigarettes tend to burn slowly and tobacco burns at a fairly low temperature, but that doesn’t mean that a half-extinguished cigarette can’t start a fire. It’s essential to take the utmost of care when disposing of you cigarettes; wherever possible use proper bins and facilities but if there really is no other option at least make sure your cigarette is properly extinguished.
Barbecues and Fires
If you’re intentionally starting a fire to cook with or for warmth in the evening then first check that your campsite is happy for you to do this. Secondly, make sure you keep the fire attended and contained at all times. Don’t just go to bed and assume it will stop, either, it’s good practice to dampen down the flames with a lid or even a little cold water.
Fire is a risk to campers and though serious fires only happen very occasionally, the damage when they do can be unprecedented. Don’t take any unnecessary risks and make sure you take that extra moment to think about fire safety whether you’re camping in the wild or on a specific campsite.