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  • Jason Regan

‘Tis the season to stay safe in the bush

Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMV) is reminding campers and day-trippers visiting forests and parks over the festive season to protect themselves and the environment by following important public land rules.

FFMV says anyone spending their Christmas and New Year break in the Victorian bush is responsible for knowing the rules around campfires, rubbish, and four-wheel driving and trail bike riding.

Stats show around 10 per cent of bushfires in Victoria are caused by illegal campfires, including unattended campfires. Since the start of November, Authorised Officers have detected 70 unattended campfires across the state.

Conservation Regulator, Ash Bunce, said the festive period is a great time to spend in the bush.

"We want visitors to enjoy themselves and to be happy and safe,” Ash said.
“We are already seeing thousands of people exploring parks and forests and while most people are doing the right thing, not following these key public land rules risks the safety of all visitors and the environment.”

Bunce reminds patrons to check weather conditions and warnings on the Vic Emergency website or app before lighting a campfire and never light a campfire on a day of Total Fire Ban.

"Bring a bucket and if there is no water available make sure to bring enough with you as it can take at least three full buckets of water to extinguish a campfire," said Bunce.
In-state forests, use a purpose-built fireplace or light a campfire in a trench at least 30cm deep. Branches and logs on a campfire must be less than one metre long. Never leave a campfire unattended and use water, not soil, to completely extinguish the campfire before leaving".

Visitors to state forests must also take out anything they bring in, including rubbish.

For four-wheel drivers and trail-bike-riders, there is an extensive network of roads and tracks in parks, forests and reserves open to the public. Sticking to these will prevent soil erosion and native vegetation destruction and keep drivers and riders on the right side of the law.

Track updates can be found at or on the More to Explore app.

Authorised Officers will be patrolling across the state, ensuring everyone enjoys their outdoor and recreational experiences responsibly. Penalties will apply to anyone caught breaking the rules.


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