Fire authorities have warned people to be careful when barbecuing and camping this Australia Day as hot, dry and windy conditions forecast for the weekend up the risk starting a fire.

Department of Fire and Emergency Services Deputy Commissioner Operations Lloyd Bailey said most barbecues were safe, but those that required solid fuel like wood or charcoal were a fire risk on hot, windy days.

Mr Bailey said their use was banned when a total fire ban was in place.

"The forecast for Australia Day is hot, dry and windy, so you should only use a gas barbecue for cooking if it has an enclosed flame or an electric barbecue which of course doesn’t have a flame,” Mr Bailey said.

“For the sake of safety, you should have a five metre buffer zone around your barbecue.

“In residential areas where there is not enough space to create a five metre buffer, clear the area around your barbecue to make it free from flammable material such as dry grass.”

The West Australian

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