Be campfire safe this holiday season

Redland City Council is reinforcing the importance of campfire safety in the lead up to the holiday season.

Redland City Deputy Mayor Alan Beard has supported the Queensland Government’s campaign of extinguishing campfires safely, which they launched in the Redlands today.

“Redland City is a city of islands with plenty of campsites to enjoy over the holiday season,” Cr Beard said.

“During the peak holiday season there can be in excess of 2000 people camping on North Stradbroke Island beaches alone, so this is an important message for residents.”

Cr Beard said not extinguishing campfires safely presented considerable safety risks for visitors and residents.

“There have been a number of instances of people being burnt in local camp grounds by campfires that had been extinguished using sand or dirt rather than water,” he said.

“While sand or dirt appears to be successful in putting a fire out, the truth is the fire can continue to hold heat for up to 24 hours, so the campfire site has the potential to burn even though there is no visible fire.”

Redland City Mayor and head of the Redland City Local Disaster Management Group Karen Williams, said campfires also had the potential to spread to nearby bush land, posing a larger fire risk.

“With the onset of summer and the presence of a number of bushfires in the Redlands recently it is a timely reminder that we should all keep these risks in mind and be vigilant.”

“Campfires that have not been extinguished correctly could result in an ember sparking a larger fire, which could then put lives and property at risk.”

Council’s Open Space, Sport and Recreation spokesman Cr Lance Hewlett (Division 4) warned that lighting fires on Redland beaches or in the City’s parks without a permit could also be costly.

“The rule is simple – lighting fires without a permit in council parks and reserves, including on our beaches, is prohibited,” he said.

“On top of posing a real risk, lighting fires without a permit can be costly with infringement notices of $550 possible; with the potential for the penalty to increase to $5500 if the matter ends up in court.’’