‘Campers should be  cautious’

FIRE WARNINGS

PLAN for the worst, then you can enjoy the break – that’s the message from fire crews as campers swelter in the hot summer weather.

Thousands of holiday makers are baking in the sun this week as they soak up the country music, but the region’s fire boss wants them to be vigilant.

Fire and Rescue NSW Superintendent Steve Hirst said camping grounds could be a recipe for disaster if a fire breaks out.

“The last thing we want is a tragedy,” he said. “It’s all good and well if your family and friends want to push your caravans together nice and tight. But fire can communicate from one structure to another very quickly. I would hate to see that outcome for anyone camping together.”

Across NSW, more than 130 caravans and mobile phones were lost to fires, and the Tamworth festival has seen it’s share over the years too.

Superintendent Hirst said while travellers were unwinding, crews wouldn’t be letting their guard down.

“A small fire can get out of hand rapidly ... because of the weather conditions,” he warned. “With a bit of wind behind it, it’s very hard to bring a fire under control quickly.

“We don’t want to lose one or have any injuries, but it would be an absolute tragedy if we lost many because of overcrowding.”

Gas bottles, barbecues, hot plates and any camp fires or ovens should be shut off or extinguished before campers leave or go to bed. A smoke alarm is a life-saving essential for any van.

“We stress it must be working, so check it works, change the batteries,” Superintendent Hirst said.

Fire crews are urging campers to maintain a six-metre gap between caravans and tents, and don’t smoke or cook inside a tent. 

“Campers should be cautious with open flames around tents and caravans, including cigarettes,” Superintendent Hirst said.

A new free ‘Emergency +’ app can also be download to mobiles, providing exact location and co-ordinates to provide to emergency services, should a fire break out.

For more information jump on the www.fire.nsw.gov.au website for further tips.

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