Communities across New South Wales are being ravaged by bushfires. Our first concern is for the safety and needs of those directly affected, particularly those who have lost their homes and loved ones. In times like these we have to work together and look out for each other.
Information about major fires is published on the Major Fire Update page.
Road closure updates can be found at www.livetraffic.com or via the Livetraffic iPhone or Android apps.
The Office of Emergency Management has advised that offers of in-kind donations are proving to be problematic for recovery services on the ground in bushfire-affected areas. Donations of physical items such as food and clothing can take up much-needed community space.
As such, the best way to donate is to donate money. This allows people to buy the things they need, and it supports local businesses which have also been impacted.
NSW Rural Fire Service
You can donate to your local brigade directly or by using the details on the NSW RFS website.
The NSW RFS welcomes people wanting to volunteer. There are opportunities beyond firefighting, in radio comms, the Incident Management Team, catering, logistics, engineering, or even helping organise local Rural Fire Brigades. Information about volunteering is available on the NSW RFS website.
The NSW RFS has also created dedicated bank accounts to collect donations for the families of volunteer firefighters who have been tragically killed while on duty this fire season. Donate here.
Salvation Army Emergency Services teams are responding to the bushfires with a number of teams on standby ready to activate should they be required at other evacuation centres. Donate to the Salvos here.
St Vincent de Paul Society
Vinnies is on the ground helping people as they deal with the immediate aftermath of fires, and will continue to be there as they rebuild their lives in the long term. Donate to Vinnies here.
Australian Red Cross
Red Cross teams have responded to 30 emergencies (some of which have been going for up to six weeks) and supported over 18,600 people, through the efforts of more than 1590 volunteers and staff. Donate to Australian Red Cross here.
Please review your Bush Fire Survival Plan. See the RFS bush fire survival guide here.
People should also prepare and maintain their properties for bush fires. See RFS preparation advice here.
For information about Fire Bans and Fire Danger Ratings go to this site. To find out the danger ratings for tomorrow, click the Map View Tomorrow tab. Declarations for the following day are typically made between 3pm-5pm each day.
You can also see the Total Fire Ban rules here.
Alert levels and danger ratings
Each of the 20 Fire Danger regions in NSW (not individual fires) is assigned a Fire Danger Rating each day. There are six Fire Danger Rating levels – Low-Moderate, High, Very High, Severe, Extreme and Catastrophic. These levels indicate likely fire behaviour if a fire were to start, or how an existing fire is likely to behave under those conditions. There are warnings for residents associated with each level of Fire Danger Rating.
Every active fire is assigned an Alert level. There are three Alert levels – Advice (blue), Watch and Act (yellow) and Emergency Warning (red).
For more information visit this page.
Animal safe places
Where possible please take your animals with you. A number of animal safe places have been assessed by Agriculture and Animal Services for safety and suitability for people who have no other arrangements in place and need to relocate their animals, including larger animals such as horses, cattle and sheep.
Emergency assistance for landholders
Fodder and livestock support
For the provision of emergency fodder, stock water and stock assessment it is important that you contact the Agricultural and Animal Services Hotline on 1800 814 647.
Primary producer assistance
Up to $15,000 recovery grants (33 LGAs only), concessional loans and transport subsidies are available for eligible primary producers. Contact the NSW Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593.
NSW Government Disaster Relief Grants
Contact the Disaster Welfare Assistance Line on 1800 018 444 to get financial assistance for eligible individuals who have low income and limited assets.
Commonwealth grants and allowances
Short-term income assistance and grants for people severely affected by bushfires are available. Contact Human Services on 180 22 66.
Mental health and wellbeing assistance
Mental Health Line: 1800 011 511
Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636
Lifeline: 13 11 14
Mensline: 1300 789 978
Kids Helpline: 1800 551 800
Farm Gate counsellors: Farmers and business owners in bushfire-affected areas can access Farm Gate counsellors and peer support workers by calling the Mental Health Line.
If someone is in immediate danger, call 000.