'Stay away': CFA issue warning as public risk lives to take photos of fire grounds

Burnt pine plantations in Wade Junction, near Portland.
Burnt pine plantations in Wade Junction, near Portland.

FIREFIGHTERS have issued a stern safety warning urging the public to stay away from fire grounds as post-fire recovery efforts roll out across the region.

Camera and iPhone-wielding onlookers have been putting their lives at risk in and around Budj Bim National Park and Wade Junction where bushfires ravaged over 7200 hectares collectively earlier this month.

CFA district five commander Paul Turner said falling trees were the biggest killers in bushfire-affected areas.

"We've lost firies this season by falling trees, they're unstable and have not been made safe yet," he said.

"People are trying to take photos of damage and wildlife because they are big on social media at the moment.

"There's still a lot of work being done inside Budj Bim, we've still got equipment in there to get out. It's a dangerous environment, particularly down the crater as there's soot and there's been rain so it's slippery.

"Crews are in there at the moment identifying killer trees that need to be removed to make it safer for the public."

While no is fire visible from the surface at Wade Junction near Portland, there are still stumps burning underground up to one metre deep with temperatures up to 300 degrees.

Commander Turner said curiosity should never outweigh personal safety.

"I understand people are curious and want to have a look but we ask that people don't go there until it's deemed safe and until the park is reopened."

This story Phone-wielding onlookers risk lives to take photos in fire areas first appeared on The Standard.