BURNING ISSUE: Hot coals after local camp fires are a major danger to kids, while flames and petrol do not mix well with people’s health.
BURNING ISSUE: Hot coals after local camp fires are a major danger to kids, while flames and petrol do not mix well with people’s health. Contributed

Warning out for fire danger

IT WAS only in April that emergency authorities were urging parents to be mindful of the dangers of camp fires after airlifting a child to hospital from Cooran.

The Sunshine Coast CareFlight rescue helicopter crew was called in to evacuate a toddler suffering burns from coals leftover from an overnight camp fire. The toddler was taken to the Royal Children's Hospital in a serious but stable condition, not long after a four-wheel drive park near Kilcoy was the scene of a similar burn to a six-year-old girl.

She suffered burns to her legs after falling into hot coals from a camp fire lit the night before.

And in February 2012, a man in his 20s suffered the burns to 40% of his body at Noosa North Shore when his friend poured petrol on a campfire at Noosa.He was taken to Noosa Hospital before being airlifted to the Royal Brisbane Hospital, while his friend was also taken to Noosa Hospital with burns.

National Parks Minister Steve Dickson said campers needed to follow a few simple rules to ensure they remain campfire safe.

"Campfires should never be left unattended, and should be small and well-contained, with tents and other camping gear at least 3m away. Remember, campfires must always be extinguished with water, as fires extinguished with sand can retain heat up to 100C for eight hours after the flames are visible, risking serious injury to anyone who might walk on it."

Mr Dickson said it was vital to be aware of the environment before lighting a fire.

"In summer it's not unusual for areas to have total fire bans, so make sure you know whether fires are allowed," Mr Dickson said.

"Some national parks prohibit campfires at all times, some require portable stoves, while others provide for open fires or fire places - so make sure you know what's required.

"Information on campfire safety including information on which parks and forests allowed campfires, is available at http://www.nprsr.qld.gov.

au/experiences/camping/

camp-fires.html.


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