Family Camping Trip

STAY SAFE WHILE HIKING OR CAMPING IN BUSHFIRE SEASON

While it isn’t all fire and brimstone like the last book of Revelation, hikers and campers do need to pay a little more attention and be on their guard during bushfire season. Here are some resources for hikers and campers who need to stay safe during bushfire season.

PACKING

Packing a few extra items in bushfire season as a precaution could be a life-saver if the worst comes to happen. Bring a long-sleeved shirt and a pair of long trousers, even if its scorching hot. If you get caught in a bushfire, you need all the protection from the heat you can muster. Adding extra layers will be the quickest and easiest way to protect your bare skin.

Pack enough food and water to last for three days and throw it in the car. If a bushfire cuts of roads in the area you may find yourself stranded, so it pays to prepare for the worst.

LOOK AT THE TERRAIN BEFORE YOU SET OFF

Take some time to study a map of the area you plan to hike in before you set off. Make a note of places where you will be able to shelter in the event of a bushfire breaking out. Look for large clearings, water sources like lakes and reservoirs, and routes back to the nearest populated town.

TAKE FIVE MINUTES BEFORE YOU STEP OUT THE DOOR

You are all packed and ready to go, the dog is loaded up, and the kids have been to the bathroom before the journey. The last thing I do before I step out the door in bushfire season is check for local information on bushfire warnings. Here are the websites you need for your localities.

WA

www.firewatch.landgate.wa.gov.au
www.dfes.wa.gov.au/alerts
www.emergencywa.info

NT

www.firenorth.org.au
www.pfes.nt.gov.au
www.emergencynt.info

QLD

www.fire.qld.gov.au
www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au
www.emergencyqld.info

NSW

www.rfs.nsw.gov.au
www.fire.nsw.gov.au
www.emergencynsw.info

ACT

www.emergencyact.info

TAS

www.fire.tas.gov.au
www.emergencytas.info

VIC

www.cfa.vic.gov.au
www.mfb.vic.gov.au
www.emergencyvic.info

SA

www.cfs.sa.gov.au
www.mfs.sa.gov.au
www.emergencysa.info

IF YOU SEE SMOKE OR FLAMES….

If you see smoke or flames, stay calm, and leave the area as quickly as possible. Get one of the places you identified as a safe place as soon as possible. Bushfires can spread rapidly when the wind changes, and just because you are upwind of the fire now doesn’t mean you will be in ten minutes. Get out of the area and call the emergency services to report it once you are safe.

Don’t let the threat of bushfires put you off. They are rare and if you are cautious and well informed of any potential weather warnings, you are unlikely to come across one. If you do, make sure you have everything you need to protect yourself and you know exactly how to get to safety.

 


Do you have any other tips for staying safe in bushfire season? Share your comments below.

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John Wilkinson
john.w@dinga.com.au

John is into everything and anything that has an on or off switch. He's a big fan of the outdoors and using tech wherever he can to make it more fun for his son.