Fires whilst camping

Submitted: Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 20:25
ThreadID: 95150 Views:2534 Replies:6 FollowUps:21
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Hi all,

Heard some interesting news that fires have been banned along the NSW side of the Murray and along parts of the Murrumbidgee.

Is this true and if it is, What break in intellect decided it'd be a good idea.

Having a fire whilst camping is IMHO the thing that makes camping, camping

I think someone will reply shortly to say that it a load of bleep .

Cheers Wilko
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Reply By: Member - Josh- Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 20:41

Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 20:41
Where did you hear from ????????
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Follow Up By: Wilko (Parkes NSW) - Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 21:09

Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 21:09
Was chatting to a member of the CFA (Vic fire mob) he told me
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Follow Up By: Member - Tony V (NSW) - Thursday, Apr 26, 2012 at 10:49

Thursday, Apr 26, 2012 at 10:49
Wilko,

Me thinks your CFA advisor is dreaming...

Directly from Parks Victoria.

Quote: "NB. Most camp sites are basic. Please ensure that what you bring with you, you take away. Please also ensure you take note of the fire restrictions in the area during your stay. Beware of camping under trees, as River Red Gums drop branches without warning."

Also Murray regulations which state

"
1. Small fires are permitted for warmth and cooking
2. Fires must not be left unattended. and must be completely extinguished with water before leaving the campsite.
3. Generators should have a 1.5 metre clearance of flammable material right around them.
4. Avoid lighting fires on windy days.
5. Bring your own firewood to use at your campsite as there is limited wood on the ground
6. Campfires must be contained in a pit at least 30cm deep, be no larger than 1 metre square, have a 3 metre clearance and never be left unattended. Learn more about campfire safety."

There is a plan of management that has been put in place after the devastation from the recent fires. This can be found on Bush fire Plan

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Follow Up By: Wilko (Parkes NSW) - Thursday, Apr 26, 2012 at 17:53

Thursday, Apr 26, 2012 at 17:53
He is in the CFA but he was talking about the NSW side.

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Follow Up By: Member - Tony V (NSW) - Thursday, Apr 26, 2012 at 18:56

Thursday, Apr 26, 2012 at 18:56
Wilco,

Same on the NSW side of the Murray NSW RFS Fire Danger maps (all areas)

There is no restrictions in place as of today - 26/04/2012

Back in 2009 State Forrest had a temporary ban in place and he may be talking about that. But this was for State Forest only and now old news when State Forest NSW put the ban in place (see here).


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Reply By: fisho64 - Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 20:42

Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 20:42
I agree with you on all points Wilko, especially the last!
Of course there are times of high fire danger when its just foolish to light up.

But otherwise, sitting around a fire with the kids, tellin stories and watching the flames is awesome.
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Follow Up By: Wilko (Parkes NSW) - Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 21:14

Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 21:14
Agreed Fisho, My best childhood memories are with my Great G Father camping , fishing and telling war stories watching the fire.

Cheers Wilko
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Reply By: Member - willawa - Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 21:14

Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 21:14
Wilko
before you get too carried away ,why don't you contact National Parks at Jindabyne.

they should be able to sort you out!
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Follow Up By: Wilko (Parkes NSW) - Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 21:18

Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 21:18
Hi Willawa,

Not sure why I should contact NPWS, Its not a Nat park where you camping there are crown land TSR's and reserves.

Cheers Wilko
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Follow Up By: Member - willawa - Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 21:25

Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 21:25
OK then why not the local bush fire brigade
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Follow Up By: Wilko (Parkes NSW) - Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 21:34

Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 21:34
Yes I will tomorrow, Am camping down there in a fortnight, got the camp ovens ready and the chainsaw sharp.

Just wanted to see if some muppet was gonna fine me for enjoying myself ; )

Cheers Wilko
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Follow Up By: Ross M - Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 22:40

Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 22:40
What have you got against muppets?
A chain saw on crown land might attract more than the muppet show.
You might need a work light on the chainsaw.
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Follow Up By: Wilko (Parkes NSW) - Thursday, Apr 26, 2012 at 17:55

Thursday, Apr 26, 2012 at 17:55
Nothing against Muppets except for the human variety there oxygen thiefs. Dont know what you mean about worklight?

Cheers Wilko
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Reply By: Motherhen - Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 21:51

Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 21:51
The NSW Rural Fire Service website shows no current bans. There may of course be some local variations. What are the conditions like there now? Lots of dry grass? Hot and windy weather? Check it out with the local fire service.

Most WA Shires now have signs on all major entry roads that campfires are not permitted during the prohibited burning time (eg December-March) - months can vary in different Shires. It is astonishing how some people think it doesn't apply to them because they want to have a campfire, and wild fires have resulted.
To me, a campfire is not necessary to camping, and only to be lit in the right conditions, and at the right time of year.

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Follow Up By: Ron N - Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 22:29

Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 22:29
I gotta agree with Motherhen. There's a substantial degree of commonsense needed as to whether a campfire is lit. A lot of scarce wood is often burnt, for bugger all reason, than the fact that someone just has a liking for a big roaring fire.

It's a primeval thing I think - these people who need to have a major fire every time they stop, regardless of wood scarcity, or whether there's any real need for a fire.

We get substantial numbers of clowns around the city, who get into the sand dunes at the beach, light a massive roaring fire - then get blind drunk and end up smashing dozens of stubbies everywhere.
Besides that, every second one of these clowns usually ends up with the fire getting away from them, and burning out a sizeable chunk of dune vegetation, leading to increased erosion. I know the fireys are thoroughly sick of them.

Cheers - Ron.
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Follow Up By: Member - eighty matey - Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 22:45

Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 22:45
Hi,

when we travel we usually have a fire most nights, wherever we are. If it's not permissible we won't but we generally use a fire for cooking and then stoked it up a bit to sit around. We're usually early to bed then get it going again in the morning for a cuppa and toast.

We have gas as a backup if needed but we love having a bit of a fire.

When we leave the fire is put out, buried and the area tidied up with a shovel.

There's a lot of people that don't take care but that's always been the case with everything. Nothing new.

Have fun,

Steve
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Follow Up By: disco driver - Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 23:27

Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 23:27
Many years ago in my travels I met up with an elderly gentleman who had been in this country for many, many years and we got to talking about things camping as we were shared my version of a camp fire.
He had a pretty good laugh about it and his comments have stuck with me ever since.

This is what he said, "I can't work out whitefella's, they spend most of the evening rushing round getting wood to make a big fire they can't sit near..Us blokes , we have a little fire and sit almost on top of it.........Saves a bloody lot of wood and work too, don't it" and we continued our chat with me feeling pretty idiotic cos what he said was so true.

Disco.
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 23:48

Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 at 23:48
Yep, can't fault what the old blackfella said. You can get a vast amount of heat out of just a few selected small pieces, of good quality, low-rainfall country timber.
I've got a pallet cage full of small mallee root chips. I just take a small bag of them with me when I go bush - and just a few handfuls of them for one fire, along with a few handfuls of sticks and leaves for a fire starter - provides more than enough heat, for all you ever need.
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Thursday, Apr 26, 2012 at 00:02

Thursday, Apr 26, 2012 at 00:02
I am delighted to see the fans of blackfella fires here; better for cooking on too. We are horrified to see the waste of wood in the huge whitefella fires some campers insist on having.

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Follow Up By: Member - Tony (ACT) - Thursday, Apr 26, 2012 at 06:34

Thursday, Apr 26, 2012 at 06:34
My pet hate with fire sites is the ring of rocks that seem to be attracted to the area.

If you are woried about the fire spreeding, dig a pit, then use the dirt to cover it all up after the fire is out when you leave the camp site.
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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Thursday, Apr 26, 2012 at 09:15

Thursday, Apr 26, 2012 at 09:15
A small fire in a pit is definitely the way to go.

But it is essential that the fire is absolutely and totally out before it is covered up because a covered fire can remain very hot for a long time - some have been recorded as burning for weeks.

Many people especially children have had nasty burns from walking on or running over covered fires.

I cant say that I am surprised about the bans on Fraser Is. There wasnt much wood when we were last there nearly 20 years ago.

MH - I guess strictly speaking a fire is not essential when camping, but for those of us who live under canvas when travelling a fire is pretty necessary on cold nights.

Cheers,

Val.
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Thursday, Apr 26, 2012 at 11:22

Thursday, Apr 26, 2012 at 11:22
Hi Val

Water is really the only way it can be extinguished for certain. There have been fires started much later from smouldering underground. When we were at McGowan Island CP Kalumburu and had camped on the beach just past the main camping area, where the off road caravans went (glorious spot). Not far outside the caravan door i stepped and felt heat - withdrawing my foot rapidly. Coals buried in the sand were hidden but very hot. I had my two 'washing machine' 20 litre buckets fairly full of wash water and steam hissed and poured out while i emptied both into the area. I was very lucky i felt the heat in time to be able to withdraw my foot. The people would have thought they'd done the right thing by burying it deep.

In the south west - the area i know and talk about - you will not get nights cold enough to need a fire for warmth during the prohibited burning period. Out of season there will be no fire danger if used sensibly and extinguished on nights cold enough to need the warmth.

We have seen the stupidity of campers with a camp fire mid day, long grass, hot weather and strong wind at the KE River Camp Mitchell Plateau. Luckily a number of us had taken a lay day to relax by the river pool so quite a team were present to fight the rapidily spreading bushfire.

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Follow Up By: Bill BD - Thursday, Apr 26, 2012 at 21:17

Thursday, Apr 26, 2012 at 21:17
I can attest to being very careful when covering fires. I spent 6 months in hospital when a little takker from walking onto the buried contents of a hot water boiler.
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Reply By: Moto - Thursday, Apr 26, 2012 at 08:37

Thursday, Apr 26, 2012 at 08:37
It's common knowledge that people who live in Towns and Cities have the biggest Camp Fires when travelling.

Most genuine Bushies and Country folk light small fires sufficient for their needs.

Oh you don't believe me. Next time you see a Bon Fire (oversize camp fire) find out where the people come from.
One life. Live it while you can.

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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Thursday, Apr 26, 2012 at 09:57

Thursday, Apr 26, 2012 at 09:57
Moto, you may well have a point there, and media portrayal of big roaring fires would help create an idea about what sort of fire is required.

A few years ago we were in a remote area as part of an expedition doing some scientific surveys. A journo and photographer were part of the crew. One night the photographer decided to take some campfire pics and of course the fire had to be heaped up so that flames were leaping a couple of metres into the air. There were protests pointing out the poor image/message such photos would send and I dont think they got any circulation after that.

Cheers,

Val.
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Follow Up By: Wilko (Parkes NSW) - Thursday, Apr 26, 2012 at 18:01

Thursday, Apr 26, 2012 at 18:01
Hi Moto,

Last time a went camping I had a fire bout foot and half wide and the neighboring camp a couple of km away could be seen from my camp went over for a chat and yep they were from Sydney.

Cheers Wilko
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Reply By: River Swaggie - Saturday, Apr 28, 2012 at 17:40

Saturday, Apr 28, 2012 at 17:40
What i don't understand is,People are so bloody quick to collect firewood to build a camp fire...

Yet will pack up all there gear and pee off without taking actions to put the fire or embers out....

Ive seen many left alight through Victoria this year and one was left alight next to a well looked after hut on a windy day..There was even an ol bucket in the tree so you could walk down the river and even put it out....Nah the lazy bums left it for people like me and you to do it.....

Something else i hate..People that put cans,bottles and even a stuffed camp chairs in a fire and expect it to burn down to nothing (morons).....Then the next camper has to get rid of all the glass etc crap out of the fire the last boneheads left....

If people don't start looking after areas there will be no-fire areas full-stop in future...

While on the North Island of N.Z @ Xmas and up past the Bay of Islands Camping areas have a no fire policy...Its not allowed..Obviously it was at some stage because old grates were there...


Start looking after our Bush or Lose It...
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