News

Bushfire agricultural impacts continue to rise

Friday 3 January 2020

The impact of agricultural losses as a result of the recent and ongoing bushfire activity across the state continues to rise.


State Controller for Agricultural and Animal Services, Mehdi Doroudi said as of this afternoon (Friday, 3 January 2019), a total of 5,790 stock have been confirmed lost as a result of the fires.

"Since the catastrophic fire day on 20 December which included the Cudlee Creek fire, PIRSA officers along with those from our participating agencies have continued to provide assistance to landholders who have been impacted by the fires," he said.

"While all of the 537 properties affected by the Cudlee Creek fire who have stock registered with PIRSA have been contacted, we are still conducting ongoing assessments with affected registered producers from the Keilira fire in the South East and the Kangaroo Island complex of fires.

"As we gather further information from Kangaroo Island and Keilira, which are still active fires, we anticipate that the total number of stock losses may unfortunately increase."

PIRSA crews have been providing immediate and assessment and advice to producers and animal owners on such issues as:

  • Inspection and assessment of injured livestock and their welfare
  • Treatment of surviving animals
  • Humane destruction
  • Providing disposal options and advice in association with local government
  • Assisting with access to local veterinary services
  • Access to other service providers such as Livestock SA who are assisting affected producers with providing water, agistment and fodder supply relief.

"PIRSA officers are also continuing to work with teams from both RSPCA and SAVEM as part of the livestock assessment operations and we are also actively liaising with the horticulture, viticulture and apiary industries on ways we can assist them."

Professor Doroudi said that while information was still coming in from impacted vineyards and orchards from the Cudlee Creek fire, the current estimates are that 30% of Adelaide Hills wine region and six orchards (apple, cherry and hazelnuts) located within the fireground have experienced varying degrees of damage.

"We are also aware of reports of damage to apiaries at Cudlee Creek, on Kangaroo Island and in the South East from the Coonalpyn and Padthaway fires," he said.

"We remind livestock owners if they require assistance with assessment of burnt livestock to contact our hotline – 1800 255 556," he said. "Other impacted primary producers are also being encouraged to call the hotline to report agricultural losses on their properties.

"At this stage we are looking to understand the needs of farmers and what will provide the most meaningful support to them. Once we understand producers' needs we can then work with Emergency Management Australia to determine what grants may be available."

Bushfire-related information for primary producers and animal owners is also available on PIRSA's website at www.pir.sa.gov.au

Livestock producers and owners requiring assistance with water, agistment and fodder supply, and landowners wishing to donate emergency fodder, are advised to contact Livestock SA on 8297 2299

For assistance with injured and stray wildlife and companion animals please call SAVEM (South Australian Veterinary Emergency Management) – 0477 055 233.

TOTAL CONFIRMED LOSSES AS OF NOON: Friday, 3 January 2020

Cudlee Creek
All 537 properties affected by the Cudlee Creek fire, who have stock registered with PIRSA have been contacted by officers. Follow up work is still continuing and reports of livestock, horticulture, viticulture and other relevant horticultural losses are still being verified. To date more than 3,700 stock have been lost.

  • Alpacas – 23
  • Cattle – 292
  • Horses – 3
  • Other - 11
  • Poultry – 30
  • Sheep – 3,345

While information is still being received from affected vineyards, approximately 63 vineyards covering 1,100 hectares (30% of the Adelaide Hills wine region) are located within the Cudlee Creek fire ground with varying degrees of damage. Damage assessment is still underway for the horticultural industry with 12 horticultural properties located within the Cudlee Creek fire area. So far at least six horticultural businesses (apple, cherry and hazelnut orchards) are known to have received varying levels of damage. Approximately eight beekeepers have been impacted in this area with a reported 414 hives burnt.

Kangaroo Island

  • Duncan – PIRSA has contacted all 13 registered properties within the Duncan fire ground with minimal stock losses reported.
  • Ravine – PIRSA are still in the process of contacting five registered properties located within this fire ground but as this is still an active fire accessing and verifying stock losses is still occurring.
  • Menzies – PIRSA has contacted all eight registered properties with minimal stock losses reported.
    Currently a total of five hives have been reported destroyed by fire on Kangaroo Island.

Keilira

It is anticipated that more than 23,000 ha has been burnt as a result of this fire with 20 registered properties so far impacted. Livestock losses are still being verified but currently 2,086 head of livestock (mainly sheep) have been confirmed lost. PIRSA officers have been visiting impacted properties in the area.
Alpacas – 200
Cattle – 237
Sheep – 1,649

Coonalpyn
A total of seven registered livestock properties have been contacted by PIRSA with no stock losses reported, however it is estimated that 200 hives have been burnt in this area, affecting 8 apiarists.

Padthaway
Currently four apiarists have been impacted with 310 hives destroyed.

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