A group of novice campers were savaged by firefighters after lighting a campfire in the middle of a ‘dry’ forest on Saturday.
Victoria’s Woodend Country Fire Authority posted the picture on their Facebook page to educate others about using common sense when out in the wild.
The fire authority unit, located between Melbourne and Bendigo, were called to a smoke sighting at Wombat Forest just after 4pm on Saturday.
Tankers and firefighters responded, but initially felt finding the source of the smoke was like ‘trying to find a needle in a haystack’.
Tankers and firefighters from the CFA unit between Melbourne and Bendigo ‘couldn’t believe’ the first time campers had lit a fire in the middle of a dry forest
The campers reportedly intended to make a bonfire, which could have spread easily, creating an instant bushfire in a remote area of Victoria
They were then horrified after discovering a group of first-time campers on a remote track had started the fire – without following basic requirements.
‘They had not cleared an area around the fire or dug a pit. They (campers) just lit the fire on the ground surrounded by dry fuels,’ the Facebook post read.
‘They also put many large logs onto the fire and let it spread. ‘Their intention was to build it into a nice bonfire during the night.’
Campers are permitted to start a fire during the fire danger period for warmth and cooking as long as there is little wind.
The fire is not allowed to be more than one square metre in size, and must also be in a pit at least 30cm deep.
After clearing the blaze, crews on the scene read the riot act to the sheepish campers.
The furious CFA unit took to social media to blast the group for the ‘stupid’ stunt.
‘What do idiots do when they go camping in the bush for the first time?’ they wrote.
‘Well, of course, you drive in to the middle of a tinder dry forest and light a camp fire that has potential to start a seriously dangerous bush fire.’
This irate Facebook user questioned if the campers had ‘learnt anything growing up’
Facebook user June Fountain was a little more measured, stating the campers should be required to ‘attend a mandatory course to give them skills in case of a bushfire’
The reaction on social media was typically blunt, with one asking if the campers ‘had learnt anything growing up.’
Another stated the campers should be required to ‘attend a mandatory course to give them skills in case of a bushfire.’
A spokesperson from State Control Centre told Yahoo7 News on-the-spot fines apply to those who fail to comply with campfire rules.
‘The safest option is not to light a campfire. Consider whether you really need one,’ the spokesperson said.
‘If you choose to have a campfire, ensure you do extinguish them properly. Never leave a fire unattended, even for a short while.’