Be forest-safe this Easter, says DEECA

March 29, 2024 BY

DEECA has released a statement reminding people to take extra care in forests this Easter. Photo: SUPPLIED

THE state’s Conservation Regulator has put out a word of warning for Victorians heading out to forested areas this long weekend.

The Department of Energy, Environment, and Climate Action (DEECA) released a statement earlier this week reminding people to take extra care when visiting forests across the state.

“Our Forest and Wildlife officers are looking forward to seeing people out enjoying forests this long weekend, but please make sure you know the rules to reduce your impact on the environment while having fun,” chief conservation regulator Kate Gavens said.

“The fire risk may not be as obvious this weekend, but our forests and parks are still full of bushfire fuel, like dry leaves, twigs and branches, which can quickly turn a negligent campfire into a destructive bushfire.”

Victoria’s recent record-breaking heat and dangerous fire days has kept the state’s bushfire risk at a high level, meaning authorised officers will be out on patrol over the weekend, enforcing campfire safety rules.

Officers will be specifically targeting illegal off-road activity, and littering, to prevent environmental harm.

Ms Gavens said anyone caught doing unsafe practices faces fines ranging between $192 and $46,154.

DEECA states the strong presence came after it recorded approximately 200 unattended campfires across forests, parks, and reserves this year so far.

The department has also issued more than 65 infringement notices for campfire, off-road, and littering offences.

DEECA encourages the community to report any illegal behaviour on public land by phoning 136 186. Bushfires can and should be reported to Triple Zero (000).

For more on rules in state forests, head to vic.gov.au/rules-in-state-forests

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