Campers have once again been warned not to leave campfires unattended during the holiday season.
Forest Fire Victoria’s Hume regional manager Shaun Lawlor said he had a simple ‘‘cool to touch’’ message for campers during bushfire season.
‘‘If your campfire is cool to touch, you are safe to leave. We want this message to resonate with campers because prevention is the best way of reducing bushfire risk to Victorian communities,’’ Mr Lawlor said.
He said during the past five bushfire seasons, barbecues and unattended campfires accounted for more than 50 per cent of bushfires.
‘‘Campfires should always be extinguished with water and not soil, and must be cool to touch before leaving. Leaving hot embers on a summer day in bushland is asking for trouble,’’ Mr Lawlor said.
He said campfires were not to be lit on days of Total Fire Ban and any previously lit fire must be extinguished by midnight before the ban began.
Members of the public can report suspicious or irresponsible behaviour by phoning 136186.