Home' The Great Southern Star : January 4th 2017 Contents “THE STAR” Wednesday, January 4, 2017 - PAGE 17
AS Victoria braces for soaring tempera-
tures this summer, South Gippsland Shire
Council is encouraging residents to think
about how they can stay safe in the heat.
The Department of Health and Human Ser-
vices’ (DHS) Survive the Heat campaign was
launched recently to raise awareness of the affects
extreme heat can have on health.
Council’s coordinator grants/emergency man-
agement Penni Ellicott said extreme heat and
heatwaves killed more people than any natural
disaster in Australia.
“In the 2009 Victorian heatwave 374 people
died and almost 80 percent of them were over 65
years of age,” she said.
“Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are serious
conditions occurring when the body’s temperature
rises and the internal organs start to shut down.
Symptoms of heat exhaustion range from muscle
cramps, dizziness to nausea, vomiting and faint-
ing.” South Gippsland Shire Council mayor Cr
Ray Argento said there were actions people could
take to stay safe in extreme heat. “Drink at least
two litres of water a day, seek out air-conditioned
buildings, draw your blinds to keep the heat out
and take cool showers,” he said.
“We can also keep an eye on people we know
who may be at greater risk of heat exhaustion like
our neighbours who live alone, young children, or
people with a medical condition.”
If you or anyone you know feels unwell on a
hot day call NURSE-ON-CALL on 1300 60 60
24, or call 000 in an emergency.
Emergency contact information:
• radio - 774(AM), ABC Melbourne;
• phone – in an emergency, dial 000 (TTY
106), Victorian Bushfire Information Line - 1800
240 667, CFA headquarters - 9262 8444;
• websites: fire updates - www.emergency.vic.
gov.au, road closures - www.vicroads.vic.gov.au
or 13 11 70, park closures - www.parkweb.vic.
gov.au or 13 19 63.
South Gippsland Shire is in the CFA’s West
and South Gippsland Fire Ban District.
Family fun time: Trevor, Alicia, and Wayde
Thomas of Melbourne relaxed and watched
the waves at Venus Bay last Thursday.
Sun and sandcastles: Jorgi Seymour and Eden Pillwein from Melbourne enjoyed the sum-
mer fun at Venus Bay last Thursday.
CAMPERS are being urged to not leave
campfires unattended this summer.
That is the message from Forest Fire Management
Victoria (FFMV) partners want Victorians to remember
these summer holidays.
Parks Victoria director fire and emergency David
Nugent said with around 10 percent of bushfires on
public land caused by escaped campfires, visitors en-
joying Victoria’s parks and forests need to be respon-
sible and extinguish fires properly.
“Visitors and campers in our parks need to under-
stand escaped campfires are dangerous and can threaten
lives and property,” he said.
“Do the right thing and stay near your campfire and
always extinguish it with water before walking away.
Always use water to put out a campfire, not soil, as the
fire can smoulder under the dirt and spread. If an extin-
guished fire is cool to touch, it is safe to leave.”
“Each year, fire agencies devote time and resources
to fighting escaped campfires. It doesn’t take much for
sparks from a campfire to turn into major fires in hot and
dry weather. That’s why it’s important to never light a
fire on a total fire ban or Code Red day. Check the CFA
website for total fire ban information. If you are unsure
whether it’s a total fire ban day, don’t light the fire.”
Being responsible with campfires is also good for
the hip pocket. Under the Forests Act 1958, Infringe-
ment Notices of $466 can be issued for leaving a
campfire unattended with a maximum penalty of up to
$15,546 if the matter is dealt with by a court.
Parks Victoria staff issued more than 40 fire-related
fines in the 2015-16 financial year.
“Lighting a fire on a day of total fire ban or allow-
ing a fire to remain alight on a day of total fire ban is
extremely serious and attracts even more severe penal-
ties of up to $37,310.40, or two years’ jail, or both,” Mr
“Campers shouldn’t leave a fire burning unattended
at any time, but also need to be aware that if they leave
the campfire burning overnight, and the next day is a
Total Fire Ban then they have committed an additional
Don’t leave a campfire burning
offence and can receive greater penalties.
“The message is clear: don’t leave a campfire burn-
ing. We urge campers to do the right thing and check
for a Total Fire Ban on the CFA website at cfa.vic.gov.
Guidelines for campfires:
• light your fire in a properly constructed fireplace or
in a trench at least 30cm deep and be less than one square
metre in any direction;
• branches and logs on your campfire must be less than
one metre long;
ensure the ground and airspace within a distance of
three metres from the outer perimeter and upper most
point of the fire is clear of flammable material;
• never leave a campfire or barbeque unattended, even
for a short time, and maintain a line of sight of less than
• make sure the fire is completely extinguished with
water before you leave, even you’re only gone for a short
time. If it’s cool to touch, it is safe to leave; and
• for all campfires, use only wood that has been pro-
vided or fallen dead wood. Do not cut down trees or dam-
For more information on campfire safety, visit: http://
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