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Bushfire Hub

Bushfire hub

Bushfire is a major threat to rural livestock production and over the coming years in Australia, fire intensity, frequency and size are all predicted to increase. Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) research has found that compared with producers who are unprepared, those who have a farm fire plan and appropriate equipment and training lose fewer livestock or suffer less infrastructure damage and can get back to business sooner after a fire.

Here you can find resources to help you prepare for bushfire season, learn what to do during a fire and resources to assist with bushfire recovery.

Year-round fire preparation and planning

Being prepared for fire is not something producers should do once a year or just at the start of summer. The best way to prepare for fire is to do a reasonable amount of work regularly, throughout the year, every year.

Your farm fire preparation plan should include:

  1. Prepare your property (e.g. reduce fuel, create an action plan).
  2. Discuss (leave or stay, action checklist as fire arrives, equipment).
  3. Know the conditions and bushfire alert levels.
  4. Keep up to date (fire authority apps and your own observations).
  5. Improve infrastructure to aid farm fire resilience.
  6. Ensure you have adequate insurance.
  7. Be self-sufficient (e.g. generator, food, medicines, communications, batteries).
  8. Plan emergency livestock management (e.g. refuge paddock, emergency veterinary assistance).
  9. Plan to recover after fire.

Read chapter two and three of the Bushfire preparation and recovery: A manual for livestock producers to learn more about how you can prepare for a bushfire.


What to do if a fire is approaching?

All fires are different. For some fires you may have several days’ warning – other fires may arrive suddenly with only minutes to prepare. Some fires will also hit on a very dangerous day, and all you can do is leave or shelter in your house. On other days, the fire may arrive when the weather is milder.

The warning you get, and the severity of the fire will affect what you have time to do and what it is safe to do.

Key tips if a fire is approaching

  • Stay informed – know where there is fire.
  • If the fire is days away put in firebreaks which is a strip of land that has been cleared of all combustible material (vegetation).
  • Organise emergency feed for your livestock.
  • Move stock to a refuge area and graze down.

Read chapter four of the Bushfire preparation and recovery: A manual for livestock producers to learn more about what to do if a fire is approaching. 


Bushfire recovery

The immediate aftermath of a bushfire, particularly in the first four weeks, is an important time for producers to assess damage to their property and livestock and, where possible, start to recover their businesses.

Read chapter five, six and seven of the Bushfire preparation and recovery: A manual for livestock producers for detailed information to help you recover from a bushfire. 


Livestock health and welfare resources

Managing livestock after a fire

NSW Local Land Services provides a comprehensive information sheet on how to manage livestock after a fire.

NSW DPI Bushfire hub

Visit the NSW DPI Bushfire hub for information on bushfire preparation, recovery and assistance.

WA farm recovery after fire

WA DPIRD provides information to support those suffering from the effects of fire on the farm.

Assessing and treating livestock

Agriculture Victoria provides assistance to landholders and communities with animal welfare-related issues resulting from fires.

NSW DPI Livestock safety in emergencies

Safety of your animals is your responsibility. This fact sheet covers how to ensure the safety of your livestock in a fire emergency.

Natural disaster response – Bushfires

Guidelines from the Integrity Systems Company (ISC) to ensure your livestock are properly cared for and that the requirements of Australia’s red meat integrity system continue to be met in the event of a bushfire.

Your guide to farm fire safety – Country Fire Authority Victoria

Your Guide to Farm Fire Safety from the Country Fire Authority Victoria is for people who are looking for practical tips and suggestions for managing farm fire risk. It covers everything from land and fuel management to equipment maintenance and the protection of livestock and crops from fire.

Your Guide to Farm Fire Safety  is a useful resource for planning or promoting fire management on agricultural land day-to-day and year-round.

Recovering from a bushfire – WA Department of Fire & Emergency Services

The WA Department of Fire & Emergency Services has prepared this bushfire recovery hub which includes resources and relevant information for WA residents affected by bushfire.

Agriculture Victoria bushfire resources

Agriculture Victoria has prepared this resource hub for Victorian producers affected by bushfire.

Recovery from emergencies in Tasmania

Visit this page on the Tasmanian Government website for resources and information about recovering from bushfire in Tasmania.   


Transport and agistment resources

While agistment can provide welcome relief following bushfire, offering feed or safety, all livestock movements, especially after a natural disaster pose an added biosecurity risk.



MLA eLearning toolbox

These eLearning packages provide the essential information you need as a livestock producer to prepare for and recover from bushfire, as well as handy quizzes to test your knowledge.

Module one: Bushfire preparation

At completion of this module, you will:

  • be able to create a fire plan for your farm
  • understand how to adequately prepare your farm for a fire season
  • understand the preparation needed year-round to prepare for possible fires
  • understand the conditions and bushfire alert levels
  • know what to do when a fire is approaching.


Module two: Bushfire recovery

At completion of this module, you will:

  • be able to implement a fire plan for your farm
  • understand how to assess and manage health and welfare of stock following a bushfire
  • understand the options for managing surviving stock following a bushfire
  • understand the needs for both short and long term recovery from bushfire.



Producer case studies

Wellbeing support resources