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Ten tips from the experts get you back to nature in safety

CAMPERS are being urged to have a safe holiday back to nature experience with a series of tips from Queensland Fire and Emergency Services.

"When lighting and extinguishing campfires, it's vital to take precautions," Rural Fire Service Queensland bushfire safety manager Peta Miller-Rose said.

Ms Miller-Rose said campers should:

  1. Know the rules around lighting fires in the area you're holidaying in.
  2. Light campfires only in cleared areas where there are no overhanging branches, and minimal grass and scrub.
  3. Make sure your campfire is a safe distance from tents.
  4. Light your campfire in a fire pit
  5. Never leave a fire unattended.
  6. Extinguish campfires only with water - never with sand or dirt

"Fires covered with dirt or sand may look like they're out, but they can radiate heat of around 100 degrees eight hours later," she said.

"This is hot enough to cause a serious burn."

"In contrast, a fire that is put out with water cools to less than 50 degrees after 10 minutes, and to around 10 degrees after eight hours. These are safe temperatures, unlikely to cause burns."

If going bushwalking, SES Assistant Commissioner Peter Jeffrey said it was important to be well prepared, regardless of whether you were planning a short walk or a long hike.

  1. Pack the right equipment, including a first aid kit, thermal blanket, food and water, appropriate sleeping equipment and navigational devices.
  2. Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back.
  3. Check the weather before going and be prepared to reschedule if conditions are not good.
  4. Carry a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) or Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) so you can be found in an emergency

Mr Jeffrey said even experienced bushwalkers could become lost or injured.

"Every year SES volunteers are called on to assist with searches for people missing outdoors," he said.

"If you are lost and in need of help, you can activate the beacon to notify the search and rescue coordination centre in Canberra, which will alert the appropriate authorities.

"Taking these precautions could save your life if you get into difficulty."

Topics:  bushwalking camping fires outdoor-living rural fire service queensland ses


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