Keilira Bushfire

This Keilira Bushfire was started by dry lightening on the morning of December 30, and burned more than 25,000 hectares with a perimeter of some 76kms.

It destroyed three properties, with one being occupied and the other two being unused farm houses.  Of equally significant impact, the fire destroyed approx. 2,000+ bales of hay, hundreds of kilometres of fencing, up to 400 head of cattle and 3,000 sheep.

This leaves a devastating impact on our property owners, who we wish well in the recovery process.

The following links and information is provided to assist those who have been impacted by this major fire event.

10 January 2020

Dear Community Members

MayorI’d like to talk to you about the Keilira Bushfire that was started by dry lightning on the morning of 30 December and subsequently burnt through some 25,000 hectares of valuable pasture in our council area.

Whilst the losses are still being counted, the fire destroyed three properties, one being occupied and the other two being unused farm houses. Of equally significant impact, the fire destroyed approx. 2,000+ bales of hay, hundreds of kilometres of fencing, up to 400 head of cattle and 3,000 sheep.

I am terribly saddened by the devastation this fire has caused, particularly being so close to home with my family being directly impacted.  However, this puts me in a position to not only understand the loss felt by the community, but to be truly grateful for the CFS and many other volunteers who worked tirelessly on the fireground for several days.

We facilitated a public meeting on Wednesday in recognition that the Keilira fire is a disaster for our community.  It has caused widespread destruction across 20 odd properties, impacted livelihoods and will no doubt leave an emotional toll that may take some time to be realised.

We wanted to provide those directly impacted by the fire and other interested residents, an opportunity to hear from the people on the ground during the fire-fight as well as support that is available now.

Council’s immediate response to the Keilira fire and addressing the impacts on our community is a priority.  For us, this includes supporting lead agencies, logistics around community support and information provision, connecting those who want to provide help to those who need it and where possible, providing real assistance to those in need.

Our community is resilient, we know that.  However, we can help you better if we know what you need, so don’t be afraid to put your hand up.  We are here to support our residents in a difficult time, and will respond to any of your concerns, as you transition to the recovery stage of this unfortunate bushfire event, with all the energy and resources we can reasonably muster.

Kay Rasheed

Mayor

Approximately 140 community members and agency representatives attended a Keilira Bushfire meeting facilitated by Kingston District Council on Wednesday 8 January 2020.  The overwhelming sentiment in the room was appreciation for the amazing efforts of volunteers and property owners during the firefight.  This was a major fire event that could have been a lot worse had it not been for the efforts of those on the ground.

It was acknowledged at the meeting that the Keilira Bushfire is a disaster for our community, noting the destruction of buildings, livestock, livelihoods, feed, native animals and vegetation.  The total losses are not yet known.

Those in attendance had a firefight briefing from CFS, including timeline of events and resources used to battle the blaze. Issues around water, communication and compatibility between CFS and farm firefighting appliances were discussed.

Also addressing the meeting was The Honourable Tim Whetstone MP, Minister for Primary Industries & Regional Development, along with agency representatives from SAPOL, PIRSA, SENRM and Red Cross.

Fire impacted property owners were provided a ‘show-bag’ of information from all agencies, with a specific focus on supporting material for mental health and well-being after a disaster.

KF Community Meeting

The Department of Human Services have now listed the Keilira Fire on their disaster recovery website.

On Thursday 30 December, a fire broke out in the Keilira region under hazardous conditions.

Phone 1800 302 787 if you have been affected by the fire and need information and support.

https://dhs.sa.gov.au/services/disaster-recovery/keilira-fire-january-2020?fbclid=IwAR1KNA9Ir_TJ3X40g0T2lR3UQ0SA2NTukYH9PeNr4afa74ti8TtuhbsWHyg

Extension of Australian Government assistance for South Australian Bushfires

The Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment and Disaster Recovery Allowance have been activated in the local government area of Kingston in South Australia.

Payments of $1000 per eligible adult and $400 per eligible child, as well as income allowance payments are now available to those affected by the fire in Keilira.

Assistance is being provided through the Australia Government Disaster Recovery Payment (AGDRP) and Disaster Recovery Allowance (DRA).

Claims will be open from Friday 10 January 2020. For more information or to make a claim visit www.humanservices.gov.au/disaster or call 180 22 66.

More information on Australian Government disaster assistance is available at https://www.disasterassist.gov.au/Pages/home.aspx

PIRSA - Contacts for primary producers

PIRSA - Bushfire Damage

Fact Sheet - Recovering after bushfires - Land Management

Fact Sheet - Recovering after bushfires - Livestock Management

Emergency measures to curb wind erosion

Rural Financial Counselling Services

Working with a Rural Financial Counsellor

How to deal with the stress of bushfires (for teens and young people)

Information and resources for fire affected communities

Bushfire recovery - Psychological Society

EPA Bushfire Information Sheet

EPA Waste Information Sheet

Native trees in burnt areas

Keilira Fire - Damage Assessment

Quantifying the agricultural losses is important to ensure the impact of the fire is fully understood, identify common recovery needs and inform funding and policy decisions. PIRSA only has very limited information on the stock, hay and infrastructure losses at this stage and is seeking more detailed damage assessment information from producers over the next couple of weeks. Your cooperation to complete a damage assessment form when approached by a PIRSA staff member or local community member will be greatly appreciated. All damage assessment information provided is strictly confidential. Please return completed damage assessment forms to Justine Drew at Struan as soon as possible.