Bushfires in South-West Victoria
Updated on 5 April 2018
The devastating fires that swept through South-West Victoria on 17 and 18 March have caused substantial losses of stock and farming assets.
Agriculture Victoria staff are assisting affected landholders with ongoing animal health and welfare needs. For assistance with livestock and farm recovery, please call local team on (03) 5336 6721.
In total, our staff have visited 290 properties, helping with damage and loss assessments, identifying urgent needs and connecting farmers with recovery programs. Unfortunately, about 1000 cattle and 2000 sheep have died as a result of these fires. There have also been significant pasture and fodder losses.
For the latest information on any emergency in Victoria visit emergency.vic.gov.au, download the app or call 1800 226 226. Callers who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech/communication impairment can call VicEmergency via the National Relay Service on 1800 555 677.
Smoke from peat fires
Some peat fires are continuing to burn at Cobrico and Lake Elingamite. Landholders with animals in the vicinity of these fires should take every effort to minimise exposure to smoke. For more information, please read our advice on impacts of peat fires on livestock. You can also read the media release issued by our Chief Veterinary Officer on 25 March.
The Department of Health and Human Services has also issued a smoke from peat fire factsheet and the Environment Protection Authority has issued carbon monoxide and health impacts and proximity to smoke factsheets.
Some peat fires are continuing to burn. Landholders with animals in the vicinity of the ongoing peat fires should take every effort to minimise exposure to smoke.
Relief and assistance
The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) is coordinating fodder collection and distribution. If you are in need of fodder for livestock or would like to donate fodder, please contact the VFF on 1300 882 833.
The Rural Financial Counselling Service is also available to farmers, offering free and independent financial support to primary producers and agriculture related small businesses. The service can be contacted on 1300 735 578.
Assistance information, including financial and emotional support, can be found at www.emergency.vic.gov.au/relief.
We have also made a support guide which details all of the support available to farming communities:
BlazeAid have set up volunteer camps in Cobden, Terang and Macarthur. To enquire about assistance with rebuilding your fence, you should contact their camp leaders directly.
Cobden: Chris and John Male, 0418 745 994, email@example.com
Terang: Vicki and Malcolm McIntosh, 0437 817 330, firstname.lastname@example.org
Macarthur: Barry Thompson: 0437 397 665, email@example.com
Practical information for managing your farm after a fire
- Assessing cattle after a bushfire
- Assessing sheep after a bushfire
- Horses affected by bushfire
- Disposing of carcasses
- Stock containment areas
- Pasture recovery after fire
- Agisting livestock affected by a bushfire
- Water and pasture after bushfire
- Livestock after an emergency
- Building a sediment fence
- Weed invasion after emergencies