Cudlee Creek bushfire recovery
This page is continually updated. Please check back regularly for new information.
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.
Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges (AMLR) and SA Murray-Darling Basin (SAMDB) NRM boards and Hills and Fleurieu Landscape Board staff are available to landholders seeking advice or assistance on land management issues such as pasture regeneration, watercourse management, soil rehabilitation, revegetation, weed management and habitat restoration.
In support of community-wide efforts to limit the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19), we’ve cancelled/postponed or modified upcoming events. Where possible we’re converting content for events into short films, webinars, online chats etc.
We’ve also initiated an on-call service to make it possible to discuss NRM issues instead of coming directly to the Recovery Centre. Please note these measures are being reassessed weekly, in line with advice from health authorities. We intend to be here for the long term, as your property recovers.
On this page
Landscape recovery grants
Property recovery - soil, water, plants
Pest plants and animals
Keep in touch
Natural Resources AMLR – Black Hill office
115 Maryvale Road Athelstone; Ph: 8336 0901
Natural Resources SAMDB – Mount Barker office
Upper level, corner of Mann and Walker Streets Mount Barker; 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
Landscape recovery grants
The Cudlee Creek Landscape Recovery Grants closed on 27 March 2020
The grants of up to $5000, are for landholders to undertake activities to manage pest plants and animals, protect soils, manage water quality, and protect biodiversity.
The Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges and South Australian Murray Darling Basin NRM Boards are pleased to fund these grants, to support communities affected by the Cudlee Creek fire in managing their natural resources.
Thank you to all those who applied, we are now busy assessing applications.
In the first instance, it’s important to remove stock from burnt paddocks to let them recover, and to get advice before felling burnt trees. Contact your local Natural Resources office for details or head to this web page: First steps to take to help your land and livestock recover.
The EPA provides advice on managing bushfire waste including CCA treated timber, contaminated water in rainwater tanks, chemicals and bushfire-affected animal carcasses.
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.
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 Natural Resources Centres of Mount Barker, Woodside and Eastwood. 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 waterbody. 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 Natural Resources staff at Black Hill (Ph: 08 8336 0901) or Mount Barker (Ph: 08 8391 7500).
Water licence holders are being offered support for water used for firefighting or pumps damaged by fires. The SA 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 them 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.
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.
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.
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 length 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.
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.
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 Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges Natural Resources Management Board's Facebook page.