Cudlee Creek bushfire recovery

The State Government has a comprehensive web page on the emergency relief for those affected by the Cudlee Creek bushfire. Some of that information is included here. However, this page also lists additional information to help you manage natural resources on your rural property, after a fire.

Hills and Fleurieu Landscape Board Landscape Officers are available for free property visits to advise on land management issues such as pasture regeneration, watercourse management, soil rehabilitation, revegetation, weed management and habitat restoration.

COVID-19 information

In support of community-wide efforts to limit the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19), our events are being held in accordance with government requirements.

For those who prefer it, a phone service is available to discuss landscape issues instead of visiting the Recovery Centre.

On this page

Local contacts

Landscape recovery grants 

Property recovery - soil, water, plants

Livestock

Wildlife

Pest plants and animals

Your health

Volunteering 

Fire appeal

Keep in touch

Local contacts 

Landscape Board Mt Barker office 
Upper level, cnr Mann & Walker streets Mt Baker; Ph: 8391 7500

Adelaide Hills Council
63 Mt Barker Road Stirling; Ph: 8408 0400

Mount Barker District Council
6 Dutton Road Mount Barker; Ph: 8391 7200

Lobethal recovery centre
Fabrik Arts and Heritage, Old Woollen Mill 1 Lobethal Road, Lobethal
Recovery hotline
 1800 302 787
Local Recovery Coordinator, Alex Zimmermann
Ph: 0418 258 304

Property recovery

Land, livestock and pasture care after fire - information on erosion, weeds, livestock, water quality, soil and more.

Soils, erosion, water and infrastructure

The nutrient content of ash, organic matter and soil can wash into dams and waterways after rain. Temporary sediment fences can be used to filter this runoff.

Information on why setting up a containment feeding area is a good idea, how to prevent dam contamination and manage soils after a fire, along with learnings from others, is available here

Cutting red tape on water affecting activities

Find out what activities WILL NOT require a water affecting activity permit for sediment control within a watercourse in a bushfire-affected area. Details in this current recommended practice form.  

Water quality

There are a number of issues that may cause you concern regarding water quality and your livestock health after a bushfire. This information sheet, 'Post-bushfire water quality in farm dams and creeks', can help you identify them and steer you towards some management strategies. 

How to identify a harmful algal bloom - California Water Board

Read more on what we're doing with fire impacts on farm water quality, and how it can be managed.

Testing dams and waterways

Ash from burnt timber, treated with copper, chromium and arsenic (CCA), is hazardous to livestock if significant amounts get into your dam or waterways. Free water quality testing for Cudlee Creek fire-affected properties is available for people who have concerns a significant amount of this ash is impacting the water quality of their dams or waterways.

There is a very low risk of water contamination from burnt CCA posts; however, the Department for Environment and Water will fund testing by the Australian Water Quality Centre and have the results interpreted by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA). It’s expected to take about 7-10 days for landholders to receive their results from the EPA (an email address will be requested when a sample is dropped off).

Sample bottles can be collected, and dropped off, at the Lobethal Recovery Centre and the Landscape Board office at Mount Barker. If you use a different bottle to collect water, it needs to be clean and free of any contamination. Avoid getting mud/debris in the bottle, and only one sample is needed per dam or water body. Details on how to collect a water sample from your dam or waterway, and strategies on how to improve your water quality, are available in this EPA fact sheet .

Blue-green and other algal outbreaks

If you are concerned about any algae outbreaks, you can find some simple control methods here and on the DHS Fire Recovery website. Aeration is the recommended method to manage algae. If you would like to speak to someone about the quality of water in your dam or waterways, please contact staff at Mount Barker (Ph: 08 8391 7500).

Water licences

Water licence holders are being offered support for water used for firefighting or pumps damaged by fires. The Department for Environment and Water will adjust usage totals and charges. Anyone concerned that water taken for firefighting may be included in their licensed water use should get in touch with DEW so adjustments can be made.   

Managing native vegetation after fire

The benefits of keeping burnt trees

Even though a tree has been burnt, it doesn’t mean its dead. Many tree species are adapted to fire and will regenerate. And even dead trees are important habitat for many wildlife species, especially those old enough to have hollows. Threatened species like the Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo, need them to shelter and nest in. Hollows also provide habitat for insectivorous species like microbats which help keep insect populations in balance. This is important for agricultural production and the natural environment. Trees in agricultural landscapes can also help reduce soil erosion, which becomes a greater threat after fire. 

Home gardens

Discover great resources on how to restore your home garden.

Viticulture and horticulture

Information for viticulturists and horticulturists affected by the Cudlee Creek fire - PIRSA 

This webinar outlines immediate responses to maximise vine recovery post fire - hosted by Dr Mardi Longbottom, Senior Viticulturist at the Australian Wine Research Institute. 

Livestock

For information on immediate steps to take, to manage livestock, head here.

For information on the next steps to take, in managing your land, livestock and pasture after fire, head here.

Managing your land and stock during tough times – it is important to make risk management decisions early. Our web page has links, tools and resources that will help.

Wildlife

The best way for most people to contribute, is to donate to the Wildlife Recovery Fund, which will re-establish native animal habitat – especially threatened species. Find out what to do if you find an injured animal, the dos and don’ts around supplying fresh water or food; and biosecurity impacts in this article.

If you’re wanting to build a nest box to help birds and animals that have lost their habitat, this fact sheet will give you tips to help you work out which species to focus on for a particular site, and what kind of nest box best suits.

Pest plants and animals

Pest animals post fire

The European wild rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) is one animal that might not be too adversely impacted from the recent bushfires. As burrowers, rabbits will have avoided much of the direct fire damage and might now find themselves, at least temporarily, free from many of their predators. This fact sheet can help you manage rabbits after a bushfire.

More information on rabbits, and other pest animals, can be found on our pest animal page.

Problem weeds post fire

Fire can significantly reduce the time required for an effective control program of some weeds. Key environmental and agricultural weeds which respond to fire, are listed on this page.

Information on these weeds, and others, can also be found on our pest plants page.

This video describes methods for controlling woody weeds after fire. 

Your health

There are a number of support agencies that specialise in counselling and general health advice for people affected by disasters. Please check in if you need help.

Volunteering

If you’re interested in volunteering, Conservation Volunteers Australia is coordinating the national environmental volunteering response to the bushfire crisis. You can register to volunteer, as an individual or as a corporate body. And if your environmental organisation needs help, let CVA know and they will work with you to help you recruit and manage volunteers.

Cudlee Creek fire appeal

The SA Government's State Emergency Relief Fund is collecting donations for people directly affected by the fire. Financial donations are the best way to help disaster-affected communities recover, as this lets people buy exactly what they need and spend locally. The fund is administered by an independent committee to ensure fair distribution to those most in need.

Keep in touch

The official Facebook page for SA Bushfire Recovery is coordinated by the SA Department of Human Services.

Information will also be shared on the Hills and Fleurieu Landscape Board's Facebook page.


Related links