Campfire Danger

Submitted: Monday, Dec 21, 2015 at 18:03
ThreadID: 131177 Views:2327 Replies:6 FollowUps:2
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The danger of not correctly extinguishing a campfire has again been highlighted when a young girl was burned by a campfire which was covered by sand. See the following link.

Girl Burned by Sand Covered Campfire
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Reply By: Les - PK Ranger - Monday, Dec 21, 2015 at 19:38

Monday, Dec 21, 2015 at 19:38
The poor kid, they are very bad burns for sure, and she'd be in some terrible pain.
Burying with sand in a beach or desert environment is not only keeping the fire very hot and insulated, but it's also well camouflaged to people / children who come into the area after the offending camper has left.

Best way I've found with campfires is :

1. Keep it small
2. Let it burn down for at least an hour before bed
3. Spread the coals thinly on the ground around the fire before retiring
4. In the morning spread again on getting up
5. After the couple of hours pack up and before leaving rake over again and sprinkle with water.

They are usually pretty cold next morning, or at least not hot, but warm to the touch.

We always make it a priority to not rekindle a fire next morning, too much drama putting them out properly, in general we don't have that much water to disperse each day for a major douse.
AnswerID: 594038

Reply By: lancie49 - Monday, Dec 21, 2015 at 20:45

Monday, Dec 21, 2015 at 20:45
Obviously a totally irresponsible act by the 'camper' who left a fire pit in that condition.
Why the hell didn't they get a couple of buckets of water and throw over it before leaving.
I've not been there yet, but I don't believe there's a great water shortage on Rainbow Beach.

There would be witnesses to identify those who were responsible, and I'd like to see some action taken if found.

Let's all hope that Grace has a full recovery, she didn't deserve what an 'adult' has done to her.
AnswerID: 594040

Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Tuesday, Dec 22, 2015 at 07:20

Tuesday, Dec 22, 2015 at 07:20
Too right Lancie, and if camping there don't they need a permit ?
Not sure what they'd be charged with, but the need educating at the very least.
Hopefully they'll read the media story and get the message, along with other campers that weren't aware of this.

I am imagining the fire pit was a decent size, and deep, where those red hot coals stay burning like a slow combustion heater overnight, and even next day.
It takes a lot of water to extinquish those fires, but of course at beach camps there is a little bit of 'wet stuff' nearby that is perfect for the job, it would just take a dozen or more trips with a bucket to begin to get those coals out properly.

We were camped near Adelaide last year, was unseasonably hot, and the second day there was a fire ban implemented and the park closed . . . we'd intended staying another night and had a good deep campfire the previous night, I backed the truck up, opened up the water tank / pump hose on it and put at least 40lt on it, still steaming.

The local parks truck came by all the campsite fireplaces (20 or more as it was packed) with their water tanker and literally put 400lt or so on ours to put it out fully to their satisfaction.

When extinguishing those sorts of fires, be VERY careful of steam burns, or even a minor 'explosion' !!
When the water hits those deep coals it can instantly evaporate and can be quite violent in the results.
FollowupID: 862382

Reply By: Hairy (NT) - Tuesday, Dec 22, 2015 at 08:25

Tuesday, Dec 22, 2015 at 08:25
Without seeing the fire its a bit hard to judge.
The article said something about a fire pit with grey ash around it didn't it? If that's the case a bit of education on both sides wouldn't go a stray probably.
Whoever left the fire probably thought they were doing the right thing by covering it but didn't think it through properly...........I reckon education would be better than prosecution.
And parents need to teach their kids to look out for hazards like this too.
Just an accident on both sides more than likely.
AnswerID: 594053

Reply By: rumpig - Tuesday, Dec 22, 2015 at 08:43

Tuesday, Dec 22, 2015 at 08:43
Hard to know exactly where this incident took place, but reading these extracts..." a few hundred metres to the rocks near the start of a four-wheel-drive track"...."Ms Martin said people needed to ensure campfires were built in permitted areas and correctly extinguished." ...and add to that the life savers tent nearby.... it sounds to me like it's not near a camping area, but in town at Rainbow itself where you drive down onto the beach. My guess is someone (likely backpackers or a fisherman) had a beach party there the night before and covered up the fire when they left, but as i have written, i'm only guessing without complete details of the event.

AnswerID: 594055

Reply By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Tuesday, Dec 22, 2015 at 10:24

Tuesday, Dec 22, 2015 at 10:24
Happened to me as a teenager while on a school canoe trip. I walked through a sand covered fire and suffered similar consequences as this young girl. I spent the remainder of the trip with my feet hanging over the canoe in the water. Damn painful I can tell you.


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AnswerID: 594058

Reply By: Member - davmac452 - Tuesday, Dec 22, 2015 at 21:48

Tuesday, Dec 22, 2015 at 21:48
Not to mention the hundreds of Bushfires as a consequence of not the campfire out properly.
AnswerID: 594073

Follow Up By: Member - davmac452 - Wednesday, Dec 23, 2015 at 17:39

Wednesday, Dec 23, 2015 at 17:39
that was meant to be "not putting the campfire out properly"
FollowupID: 862440

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