Irresponsible campers or arsonists to be targeted by authorities.TRENT HORNEMAN November 15, 2012 4:25am
Authorities are concerned a tinder dry Barmah National Park could become a fire hazard this summer.
The Department of Sustainability and Environment, CFA and Victoria Police have vowed to take a tough stance on irresponsible campers or arsonists after several fires early in the spring-summer season.
DSE land and fire regional manager Alan Dobson said the authorities were committed to catching people who deliberately lit fires, but also campers who left campfires unattended or abandoned to re-ignite.
Mr Dobson said authorities had found 11 unattended campfires in the Murray region during the Melbourne Cup weekend as well as a couple of deliberately lit fires in the Barmah Forest.
He said the fire risk in the Barmah Forest would escalate as the temperature rose.
‘‘We had a bit of rain in early October, which has promoted growth on the forest floor. So there is fuel out there which is starting to dry out and could become a risk during summer,’’ he said.
Mr Dobson said irresponsible farmers could face sanctions similar to those of arsonists if caught.
‘‘There is an element of negligence. The law treats arson and irresponsibility one and the same in this case,’’ he said.
‘‘DSE, CFA and Victoria Police have vowed to investigate every fire in the forests this season to determine a cause.
‘‘If there is evidence of irresponsibility or the fire being deliberately lit, the authorities will establish the point of ignition and then investigate those involved.’’
Mr Dobson said while it was hard to determine exactly how many fires were deliberately lit in the forest each summer, unattended or abandoned campfires accounted for about 10 to 20 per cent of all forest fires.
‘‘Lightning strikes are the most common cause, followed by machinery and then unattended fires,’’ he said.
Mr Dobson said DSE staff were slashing areas to reduce fire risk around assets near the forest.
A fire has destroyed a home in Kialla West.
Victoria State Emergency Service (SES) and other emergency services are preparing for the next round of wild weather in the north-east.
Tatura Fire Brigade volunteers are gearing up for a busy summer period this year.
SNAKES will be coming out of hiding as the weather warms up.
OUR Lady of the Sacred Heart Elmore was a sea of colour earlier this month for Footy Colours Day.
THE Salvation Army in Kyabram is this weekend celebrating 125 years of service in the district.
Seymour A and B-grade in season decider
Extensive rainfall in the Southern Riverina is having a negative impact on farming.
When Pyalong Primary School does something, it does it well. Here are the students all dressed up for the school's recent Roald Dahl day to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the author’s birth on September 13, 1916.
Yarroweyah's Katie Anderson will be heading to Wisconsin in the United States after winning the Dairy Youth Travel Scholarship.
Skipper claims second B&F in thrilling count
Tuesday, August 16
The News magazines are online - read high quality magazines in your time. Check in regularly for the latest editions.
Riverine Herald's well regarded locally produced magazines. They're now online, so you can read them whenever and wherever you like.
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.