Keilira Bushfire

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

The fire impacted 22 properties, and destroyed 3 homes with one being occupied and the other two being unused farm houses.  Of equally significant impact, the fire destroyed an office and its contents, numerous sheds, approx. 2,000+ bales of hay, hundreds of kilometres of fencing, over 40 pigs, 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

WE NEED YOUR HELP!

Council is excited to welcome BlazeAid to Kingston to assist in the recovery efforts at Keilira. A  base camp will be established at Gall Park from 28 January 2020.

BlazeAid is a volunteer-based organisation that works with families and individuals in rural Australia after natural disasters. Working with impacted families, BlazeAid volunteers help to rebuild fences and other structures that have been damaged or destroyed.

BlazeAid is a volunteer-based organisation that works with families and individuals in rural Australia after natural disasters. Working with impacted families, BlazeAid volunteers help to rebuild fences and other structures that have been damaged or destroyed.

BlazeAid - Call to Action

You can help by:

Registering as BlazeAid volunteer to assist with on-ground repair works:

  • Please contact Mary Howarth on 0429 367 538
  • You don't need any fencing experience, just a willingness to give it a go and learn on the job, You can volunteer for a day or two or a week or more
  • You will need sturdy footwear, a hat and a long sleeve top

Donating equipment for the BlazeAid volunteer team:

  • High Viz Vests
  • Safety Glasses
  • Gloves
  • Wire Cutters

Assisting with catering for the BlazeAid volunteers. We are putting the call out to community clubs, organisations, businesses, individuals and groups. You can help through:

  • Cash Donations
  • Food/Bottled Water Donations
  • Preparing Meals
  • Serving Meals and Tidy Up

Please contact Heather at Council if you would like to help with the BlazeAid effort.

Office: 08 8767 2033 | Mobile: 0418 672 085 | Email: hschinckel@kingstondc.sa.gov.au

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

Council has released a community recovery newsletter, After the Keilira Fire. Editions of the newsletter can be found below:

After the Keilira Fire - Edition 2

After the Keilira Fire - Edition 1

Bushfire affected primary producers in South Australia can now access a grant to assist with the recovery process and getting back to business.

The recovery grant can be used to help with the cost of:

  • clean up activities
  • reinstatement activities
  • emergency measures to assist with immediate recovery of primary production enterprises.

Assistance is being provided under the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).

Eligible primary producers can now access grants of up to $75,000. Applicants who have previously applied for a grant, may apply for additional amounts up to the maximum $75,000.

Grant guidelines, eligibility criteria and application forms are now available on the PIRSA website or by clicking here.

Fore more information please contact

The State Government has announced an independent review will be conducted into the unprecedented 2019/20 bushfire season which will focus on all recent fires and the risk and management of potential new fires across the State. This is a great opportunity to share what we as a community have learnt from our experience with the Keilira Fire.

The intent of the review, which is to start immediately, is to look into South Australia’s preparedness for dealing with significant bushfire activity and what can be done to mitigate the impact of bushfires on our communities into the future. The terms of reference for the review are available at the following link. https://www.safecom.sa.gov.au/site/independent_review_into_south_australias_201920_bushfire_season.jsp

Submissions can be made by Emailing: BushfireReviewSubmissions@sa.gov.au or by mailing your submission to:
SA Fire & Emergency Services Commission
South Australian 2019-2020 Bushfire Review
GPO Box 2706 Adelaide SA 5001


Key Dates

  • Review begins: 28 January 2020
  • Public consultation commences: 3 February 2020
  • Review findings provided to State Government: 30 June 2020

The South Australian Government has partnered with the Commonwealth Government to offer financial assistance under Disaster Recovery Arrangements to those impacted by bushfires in South Australia.

Financial assistance of up to $50,000 is available to impacted small businesses for costs associated with clean-up, restoration and rebuilding. Available funding includes:
  • An initial amount of up to $25,000 to support an initial claim, with evidence of the direct damage such as photographs, quotations, tax invoices or official receipts required.
  • A subsequent amount of up to $25,000 to support subsequent claims, with full evidence of payment required. (This evidence must also include any amounts claimed under the initial claim if not already provided).

Multiple applications can be made up to the maximum amount available under the non-profit organisation grants.

More information and online applications are available via the following link - 
https://business.sa.gov.au/South-Australian-bushfire-recovery/Small-Business-Bushfire-Recovery-Grant

A drop in day for impacted property owners will be held on Tuesday 11 February 2020 at the Keilira Tennis Clubrooms from 10am - 5pm. Key stakeholders will be in attendance, including PIRSA, Department Human Services, SA Drainage Board, SE Natural Resource Management, Rural Business Support and more.

This is a fantastic opportunity for property owners to get assistance with grant applications and obtain information from relevant authorities.

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.