FIREFIGHTERS are reminding Fraser Coast residents to be vigilant with campfire safety this Christmas holidays in order to avoid unnecessary burns and potential bushfires.
Among their warnings are to ensure fires are extinguished correctly before leaving them.
Volunteers from the Dundowran Rural Fire Brigade performed a demonstration for the Chronicle showing the difference between putting a fire out with sand compared to using the correct method of water.
During the demonstration temperatures in the fires rose to between 700C and 900C, according to a thermal imaging camera.
When the fires were put out, temperatures in the fire rapidly dropped to about 50C.
However, the campfire which was extinguished with wet sand still had places which recorded temperatures in the 300C range ten minutes after the fire was covered.
Dundowran Rural Fire Brigade first officer David Spawton said the demonstration showed how important it was to ensure fires were extinguished correctly.
"If you tend to leave it, things will happen, winds will get up and before you know where we are you have an uncontrolled fire," he said.
"You also need to put it out for safety reasons and particularly put it out with water and not with sand when you are on the beach."
Mr Spawton said it was always better to use water.
"If you are out there camping, you have water in your unit and you will probably be washing so when you have finished washing up use that water to put out your campfire."
Using sand to put out a fire means it retains heat and is often not seen by people who are walking past.
This can cause severe burns to people who may walk over the fire, especially children.
Mr Spawton urged people to keep fire safety in their minds when they are camping.
"Be fire wise and keep an eye on it at all times," Mr Spawton said.
"Don't go off and leave it still burning."