Go without a campfire
Victoria is one of the most fire prone areas in the world. If you are out and about enjoying the great outdoors you need to remain safety conscious and FireReady at all times,
One thing you can do to help is to choose not to have a campfire, even if it isn't a Total Fire Ban day. Approximately 10 per cent of all fires on public land are started by campfire escapes.
If you still choose to have a campfire, don't let your campfire go bush!
- Check fire restrictions. Are you permitted to have a campfire? Is it a day of Total Fire Ban? Check for any Total Fire Bans on the CFA website or call the Victorian Bushfire Information Line 1800 240 667.
- Most campfires escape when they are left unattended. An adult must be present at all times.
- Take extra care to build the fire properly.
- Keep your campfire just big enough for cooking and keeping warm.
- Look after your campfire constantly.
- Put your fire out properly with water (do not use soil), even if going for a short walk or swim.
- Don't light a campfire, or keep one alight, on dry, windy days.
Key things to remember:
- Before you light a fire, think about whether you really need the fire and the risk it presents.
- If a fire is cool to touch, it is safe to leave.
- Put the fire out with water, not soil. Fires can still smoulder under soil.
- Keep the campfire just big enough for cooking, or use other cooking appliances, such as a portable gas stove.
- The maximum area of a campfire or solid fuel barbeque mustn't be more than one square metre and the maximum dimensions of the fuel must not be more than one metre in any direction.
- The minimum distance cleared of flammable material around a campfire, or barbeque that uses solid fuel, must be at least 3 metres.
- The minimum distance cleared of flammable material around a barbeque that uses gas, liquid fuel or chemical solid fuel must be at least 1.5 metres.
- Use a constructed fireplace where provided, or light the fire in a 30-centimetre-deep trench to prevent embers from flying out.
- Create a perimeter around the fire using rocks.
- Never, ever leave a fire unattended, even for a short while. The person in charge of a campfire or solid fuel barbeque must not move outside the line of sight of, or more than 50 metres away from, the fire or barbeque at any time.
- You should take the same precautions when using appliances with naked flames such as gas stoves, as they can be blown over by winds and cause fires.
On Total Fire Ban days:
- Campfires, open flame barbecues and liquid fuel or gas appliances may only be used as indicated on the CFA website.
- Some parks provide built in electric or gas barbecues. These can be used if a water supply is within 10 metres, the barbecue is clear of all flammable material for a three metre area and an adult is present.
On the spot penalties and fines can apply for campfires that do not comply with regulations.
And remember, bonfires must not be lit anywhere in parks or forests. It's illegal and highly dangerous.