Fire Injuries Hit Peak As NQ Camping Season Commences

Don't become a stat!

Carley Whittington

29 March 2018

Carley Whittington

Article heading image for Fire Injuries Hit Peak As NQ Camping Season Commences

Campers heading out for an outdoor adventure this Easter long weekend are reminded to stay safe to avoid disaster. 

Firies urging North Queensland locals to position camp fires in an open area away from vegetation and use water and not sand to extinguish a fire.

We're reminded also pack a GPS, first aid kit and extra water if going on a bushwalk.

In 2017 Townsville Hospital saw 376 burns related injuries, 78 at Ayr Hospital, and 82 at the Ingham Hospital.  

Bushfire safety officer Gordon Yorke says it's vital to keep the little ones away from the flames. 

More tips on campfire safety:

  • There are many misconceptions about campfires, including that campfires can be extinguished with sand.
  • Campfires extinguished with sand can retain heat up to 100 degrees Celsius for eight hours after the flames are no longer visible, and the fire can also spontaneously reignite this way and be disguised to small children.
  • The safest option is to always saturate fires with water and this way they will be cooled to a safe temperature after just 10 minutes and not only reduce the burns risk, but also the risk of sparking a bushfire, too.
  • Positioning - Campfires should be positioned in cleared areas, where there are no overhanging branches, minimal grass and scrub. Ensure the campfire is a safe distance from tents, and that any other camping equipment is stored well away from it - especially flammable items such as gas cylinders and fuel cans.
  • Building - Where possible use a fireplace such as a barbeque pit or build a fire pit and surround it with large rocks. When selecting rocks, be aware that heated river or creek stones may shatter if cooled quickly. Ensure the fire stays a controllable size.
  • Starting - Start your campfire using appropriate ignition source and firelighter, paper and small kindling. Never use any kind of flammable liquids (such as petrol) on a fire to get it started.
  • Extinguishing - Put your campfire out with water when you have finished with it. Use the water from your washing up to put your campfire out.
  • Monitoring - Never leave unattended. Any campfire left unattended for any period of time, particularly overnight, should be extinguished by using a bucket of water.


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