If you’re heading off camping this Melbourne Cup weekend, please remember to keep your campfire safe.

Aaron Kennedy, Deputy Chief Fire Officer - Hume said: "We encourage people to get outdoors and enjoy the spring weather but it's critical that they don't leave a campfire unattended.

"Escaped campfires cause about 10 per cent of all bushfires on public land in Victoria, endangering lives, livelihoods, the environment and property,” Mr Kennedy said.

“Once you light a campfire, you’re legally responsible for ensuring that it is safe, does not escape, and is completely extinguished. There are heavy penalties for ignoring these responsibilities.

“When building a fire, ensure you use an existing fire pit where provided, clear an area around the fire so it’s free of dry leaves and twigs, and don’t build the fire bigger than one square metre.

“Before you leave your campsite, make sure your campfire is fully extinguished, using water not soil - if it’s not cool to touch, it’s not cool to leave.”

For tips on campfire safety, go to www.ffm.vic.gov.au/permits-and-regulations/fire-restrictions-and-regulations.

"We encourage campers to check weather conditions and fire danger ratings before heading to their favourite spot in the bush.

“Melbourne Cup weekend also marks the end of most seasonal road and track closures.

“Four-wheel driving is a great way to get away from it all and connect with our regions parks and forests. If you’re going four-wheel driving on your camping trip, check the conditions in the area you’ll be visiting.

“To ensure you have a safe and enjoyable time while still protecting the environment, we encourage you to get the best available information before you leave.” 

To plan your trip go to the Public Access Map site in the visiting parks and forests section at www.ffm.vic.gov.au/visiting-state-forests/forest-and-road-closures

For maps of the seasonal road closures in parks, check https://parkweb.vic.gov.au/safety/closures