Minimise Campfire Impacts
“In gaining the lovely and the usable, we have given up the incomparable.” Wallace Stegner
Wildfire destroys thousands of kilometres of bush each year
in Australia. Many of these fires are either carelessly or accidentally set by uninformed campers and travellers.
Setting controlled fires is a practice and science of experienced land managers and Indigenous people, and is based on weather, sources of ignition, and fuel. The intent is to reduce the amount of fuel in the forest under-storey in order to decrease the chance of uncontrolled hot fires and regenerate growth. In contrast, large uncontrolled wildfires set unintentionally during hot, dry windy periods can spread rapidly and result in the critical loss of natural habitat, property and human life.
Along with the destructive nature of fire, the natural appearance of many recreation areas has been compromised by the careless use of campfires and the demand for firewood. Campfires are beautiful by night. But the enormous rings of soot-scarred rocks – overflowing with ashes, partly burned logs, food and rubbish – are unsightly. Surrounding areas have been stripped of their natural beauty as every scrap of dry wood has been torched.
Some of us grew up with the tradition of campfires. But they are no longer essential for comfort or food preparation.