Damage toll rises after Sir Ivan fire | Photos

Friday, February 17, 12.25pm: Firefighters have now contained the Sir Ivan bush fire east of Dunedoo ahead of the high fire danger forecast for this afternoon.

This fire is situated to the east of Dunedoo, around Cassilis and the area between Warrumbungles Way and Rotherwood Road.

The fire has now burnt more than 55,000 hectares of land and on Sunday destroyed 34 homes and other buildings under catastrophic fire conditions.

Crews will continue to work across the fire ground, mopping up and putting out hot spots and flare-ups if they occur.

A very high fire danger is forecast today. This may put some pressure on containment lines and people may see an increase in fire and smoke.

4.33pm: Steve Bradshaw has been appointed as the Recovery Coordinator to support local recovery efforts in the Warrumbungle Shire and surrounding areas following the Sir Ivan fire.

Mr Bradshaw was the Recovery Coordinator following the 2013 fires at Coonabarabran and has a great deal of local knowledge and expertise in responding to regional emergencies

“While the response to the bushfires in Warrumbungle Shire and other areas is well underway and agencies in the region have been doing an incredible job, the Recovery Coordinator will help the community get back on its feet by supporting more local recovery activities,” Member for Dubbo and Emergency Services Minister Troy Grant said.

“Mr Bradshaw will work closely with the Warrumbungle Local Recovery Committee, the community, Local, State and Commonwealth agencies and non-government organisations to get a clear sense of the impacts of the fires. Maximum coordination of State agency resources will be crucial in addressing these impacts.

“As the Recovery Coordinator, Mr Bradshaw will directly support recovery efforts in the Warrumbungle Shire, and will facilitate cooperation with recovery efforts in other areas affected by the bushfires, including the Upper Hunter.”

The role of Recovery Coordinator will have a clear focus on providing short and long-term accommodation for those in need, ensuring that insurance companies are working rapidly with home owners and farmers to resolve insurance claims, and that the community receives all the support it requires.

“The appointment of Mr Bradshaw adds to a range of assistance measures already available including grants for people on low incomes, or with no insurance, whose homes have been destroyed by the bushfires,” Mr Grant said.

Additionally, community recovery in the area will get a significant boost when a Recovery Centre opens shortly in Coolah. This will be a ‘one-stop-shop’ where assistance will be available from a range of agencies including:

  • Disaster Welfare Services (Department of Justice);
  • NSW Housing;
  • Primary Industries;
  • Mental and Community Health; and
  • The Insurance Council of Australia.

Mr Bradshaw is a former NSW Police officer who spent 41 years in the force, including five years as Commander of the Western Region.

Information about the recovery and services available can be found at: www.emergency.nsw.gov.au

4.02pm: A Total Fire Ban has been declared for Friday.

3.40pm: The Country Women’s Association (CWA) of NSW has launched an appeal for victims of the Sir Ivan fire as the damage toll continues to rise.

The number of homes destroyed by Sunday’s bushfires has risen to 44 state-wide – 34 of them in the Cassilis, Leadville, Uarbry and Coolah area alone.

NSW RFS Building Impact Assessment teams continue their inspection of the fire affected areas.

Department of Primary Industries has also advised of significant losses of farming infrastructure and stock.

At the Sir Ivan fire, it is estimated as much as 5,700 kilometres of fencing may have been damaged, with 430 sheep and 55 cattle deceased or destroyed. 325 goats, 20 dogs and three alpacas have also died.

There has also been considerable loss of farming equipment and infrastructure.

“If you know someone who needs assistance, they or you (on their behalf) can contact Joy Beames (0428 751 173) or Sam Barrass (0402 592 436),” CWA of NSW president Annette Turner said.

Contacts:

  • Clothing and food donations are being co-ordinated by Dunedoo Central School office staff (call 02 6375 1489 for details of where and how to deliver or collect). No furniture deliveries will be accepted at this time as those affected have nowhere to store them.
  • Short term accommodation is being organised and those requiring it should contact Sharon Nott on 0428 859 509.
  • Water deliveries can be arranged by contacting Peter McClung on 0428 863 219
  • Hay and grain deliveries are being co-ordinated by Hayden Rhodes and Sandy Cox from Delta Sullivans – contact 02 6375 1209, Hayden on 0428 811 774 or Sandy on 0428 865 299.
  • Counselling for fire victims is being arranged and Dunedoo Central School have a counsellor coming in for student assistance.
  • Townspeople are on hand to do basic things like clothes washing if needed. Dunedoo Central School will be organising this service.

11.18am: The NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) is continuing its assessment of areas affected by bush fires at the weekend.

Across NSW, a total of 42 homes have been confirmed destroyed, with 11 others damaged. 138 outbuildings have been destroyed, with 39 others damaged.

The Leadville, Coolah and Cassilis area has been by far the worst affected, with 32 homes, one church, one community hall and 114 outbuildings now declared destroyed in the Sir Ivan fire.

Another eight homes have been damaged, with about five per cent of the fire ground yet to be assessed.

Across NSW, a total of 42 homes have been confirmed destroyed, with 11 others damaged.

The following locations have been assessed:

Pappinbarra (Port Macquarie-Hastings LGA) - Complete

  • 6 homes destroyed
  • 3 homes damaged
  • 11 outbuildings destroyed

Spring Hill Road Dondingalong Fire (Kempsey LGA) - Complete

  • 2 homes destroyed (one uninhabited)
  • 7 outbuildings destroyed

Binalong Road, Boggabri (Narrabri LGA) – Complete

  • 1 home destroyed
  • 2 outbuildings destroyed

White Cedars Road (Mid Western) – Complete

  • 1 home (uninhabited)
  • 4 outbuildings destroyed

10.50am: The Country Women’s Association (CWA) of NSW has today announced a commitment of up to $50,000 from its Disaster Relief Fund to assist the victims of the Sir Ivan fire.

The CWA has also formed a committee with the community of Dunedoo to manage the many generous offers of assistance that are rolling in for people affected by fire.

All offers of help will be dealt with by the committee. Financial donations can be made to the CWA of NSW’s Disaster Relief Fund and will go directly to those in need.

“Latest reports late yesterday from the Rural Fire Service indicated the 55,000 hectare fire was only just under control and many farmers have lost absolutely everything,” CWA of NSW president Annette Turner said.

“Our Disaster Relief fund is for exactly these types of situations and we are very pleased to be able to assist.

“Food, clothing and financial donations are what is most needed at the moment and I encourage everyone who is able to to donate and support those affected.

“If you know someone who needs assistance, they or you (on their behalf) can contact Joy Beames (0428 751 173) or Sam Barrass (0402 592 436).”

Contacts:

  • Clothing and food donations are being co-ordinated by Dunedoo Central School office staff (call 02 6375 1489 for details of where and how to deliver or collect). No furniture deliveries will be accepted at this time as those affected have nowhere to store them.
  • Short term accommodation is being organised and those requiring it should contact Sharon Nott on 0428 859 509.
  • Water deliveries can be arranged by contacting Peter McClung on 0428 863 219
  • Hay and grain deliveries are being co-ordinated by Hayden Rhodes and Sandy Cox from Delta Sullivans – contact 02 6375 1209, Hayden on 0428 811 774 or Sandy on 0428 865 299.
  • Counselling for fire victims is being arranged and Dunedoo Central School have a counsellor coming in for student assistance.

Thursday, February 16, 9am: Firefighters are working to consolidate containment lines at the Sir Ivan bush fire which is burning to the east of Dunedoo in the area around Leadville, Coolah and Cassilis.

The fire is burning around Cassilis and the area between Warrumbungles Way and Rotherwood Road.

The fire has burnt more than 54,000 hectares of land and on Sunday destroyed at least 31 homes, 104 outbuildings, one church and one community hall under catastrophic fire conditions.

Firefighters are working to consolidate containment lines around the fire ahead of deteriorating weather conditions later in the week.

Backburning has occurred on the southern section of the fire and south east of Cassilis. Crews have been working from Warrumbungles Way mopping up and blacking out any hot spots.

Firefighters are being assisted by water bombing aircraft and heavy plant equipment such as bulldozers to build containment lines.

Crews are working across the fireground patrolling the area, putting out hot spots and flare-ups as they occur.

Emergency services and support agencies are continuing to assess affected roads in the area and remove a significant numbers of fallen trees.

Local Land Services teams are also working with crews on the fireground, attending to animal welfare.

While there is no immediate threat to homes, if you are in the area of Cassilis or Coolah and in the vicinity of Warrumbungles Way, monitor conditions and be prepared to take action if the fire threatens your property.

An information point has been established at the Coolah Sports Club. NSW RFS community liaison members are available to provide information and updates to residents during the day.

Telecommunications may be disrupted in the area due to power outages.

The Golden Highway and Blackstump Way has re-opened, however please use caution when travelling in the area as there are reports of live stock and native animals on the road. Roads may also close at short notice for firefighting operations.

Tuesday: Crews from the Dubbo Rescue Squad have been assisting local crews at Cassilis to fight the Sir Ivan fire.

“The damage done by the fire is catastrophic, it is very hard to take in the amount of damage this event has caused,” the squad said in a post on its Facebook page.

“The NSW Rural Fire Service have done a wonderful job managing this incident considering its sheer size.”

Other Information:

  • If your life is at risk, call Triple Zero (000) immediately.
  • Continue to stay up to date with the bush fire situation by checking http://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au, listening to your local radio station or by calling the NSW RFS Bush Fire Information Line on 1800 679 737.
  • If you live in the area but are away from home, it may not be safe to return to your property.
  • For information on road closures, check http://livetraffic.rta.nsw.gov.au. Roads may be closed without warning.
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