Forest Fire Management Victoria say people leaving campfires unattended in forests and parks near Cohuna is "just not good enough"
Eighteen abandoned campfires were found in the area around Cohuna after the Melbourne Cup long weekend.
FFM Victoria senior forest and fire operations officer Tim Wishart said FFMVic firefighters responded to the alight and abandoned campfires while on regular patrols of Guttrum and Benwell State Forests, Gunbower Island, Braund Bend and Torrumbarry to Long Bend.
"This is just not good enough because escaped campfires can easily be prevented by people taking care and following the regulations," he said.
"It is very disappointing people are not putting out their campfires with water and they are leaving before their fire is cool to touch with the back of the hand.
"People must extinguish their campfires properly because campfires have the potential to turn into bushfires that can impact life, property and the environment.
Campfires must not be ignited or allowed to continue to stay alight on days of Total Fire Ban.
In other instances, people should use a purpose-built fireplace where provided or light a campfire in a trench at least 30cm deep; branches and logs on your campfire must be less than one metre long; maintain a 50-metre line of sight of the campfire at all times; an adult must be present at all times when the campfire is alight and; make sure your campfire is completely extinguished using water not soil.
Fines of up to $496 can be issued for people breaching campfire safety rules. A maximum penalty of $16,522 can be incurred if the matter is prosecuted in court.
For more information visit www.ffm.vic.gov.au/permits-and-regulations/fire-restrictions-and-regulations
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