Firies to target campers



TWEED firefighters alarmed by a Christmas Eve blaze at Pottsville which saw flames nearly three-metreshigh -have warned people to be wary of the fire danger.

Despite the green appearance of local bushland following recent rainfall Tweed Rural Fire Service co-ordinator David Cook has warned, "it's actually drier than what we think".

Mr Cook said the Christmas Eve blaze took two hours for two volunteer fire crews, Tweed Coast and Cudgen, to put out.

But he said most people were being responsible, with few calls to the rural fire service since Christmas Day indicating most people were heeding warnings to be careful.

He said it was important not to be complacent because of the recent rain, especially during the holiday season when many people light campfires.

Yesterday a high fire risk applied to the area from Tweed Heads to Grafton but no fire ban was imposed locally.

However, the Rural Fire Service has warned permits are now required across all of NSW for any type of burning off.

NSW Fire Brigades Commissioner Greg Mullins has warned many holidays can be soured or cut short because of camping or caravan fires.

Mr Mullins said firefighters were called to numerous caravan and camping fires each summer.

He said holiday-makers should remember simple things like making sure a campfire is fully extinguished before going to bed and ensuring a caravan has a properly functioning fire extinguisher.

"Such simple precautions can prevent your holiday from coming to an abrupt end or even avert a tragedy," he said.

Campers should also make sure they turn off lanterns and stoves before going to bed and never smoke in a tent.



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