Fire resources

Recovery, preparation and prevention

Fire can have a significant immediate and longer-term impact for Australian grain growers in terms of their enterprises, soils, infrastructure, assets, animals, and their health and wellbeing – and that of their families and local communities.

The fires which have ravaged many parts of rural Australia in recent years have demonstrated the scale of loss and damage that can be incurred.

The GRDC recognises that recovery from fire is not easy, and ongoing support and sound advice is critical.

To assist, the GRDC has developed this fire recovery, preparation and prevention web resource which provides easy access to information on managing soils, post-fire planning and decision making, mental and physical health, as well as fire planning, preparation and prevention.

It includes case studies and learnings from those who have experienced the devastating impacts of fire, and details their recovery journey to support and encourage others in their time of need. The page also includes links to relevant broader agricultural industry resources.

Resources

Fire recovery - GRDC resources

Fire recovery tips from a grower’s experience

Growers impacted by the Yorketown fire on South Australia’s lower Yorke Peninsula in November 2019 have had the opportunity to learn from the experiences of those affected by the Pinery fire in 2015.

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Managing bare soils following a fire

Experts answer questions about how growers can manage their land following fire.

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Soil monitoring important following fire

While some plant pathogens may be reduced following extreme fire events, growers affected by fire are urged to monitor nutrient levels and soilborne disease pathogens ahead of sowing programs.

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Growers focus on protecting cropping soils after fire

Grain growers in South Australia’s fire-ravaged Lower North cropping region in 2015 were advised to develop and implement tailored and collaborative erosion control strategies based on soil type and drift susceptibility.

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Scorched soils need time and gentle rain

In the aftermath of a devastating bushfire in January 2005, Edillilie district farmers were facing their greatest challenge in many years, drawing on every bit of accumulated knowledge to rebuild their farms from the ground up – literally.

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Experts encourage careful pre-em use in fire zone

Growers with bare soils affected by fire are asked to be mindful of pre-emergent herbicide rates ahead of seeding, with a lack of organic matter on the surface meaning chemicals will penetrate the soil more readily than normal.

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Crop choice needs careful consideration after fire

Getting good establishment with pulses is a critical part of managing the crop, which may be harder on burnt ground where there is no stubble and erosion risk is high.

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Outside advice helped following devastating blaze

Steve Whillas and his family were some of the many farmers who suffered significant losses as a result of the Wangary bushfire on the Lower Eyre Peninsula in January 2005. Steve took the experience as an opportunity to start afresh on his property, and he has some advice for fellow growers facing significant losses as a result of fire.

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Family farm business decisions - better outcomes from improved decisions

Pinery grain grower and Nuffield Scholar Derek Tiller who, along with his family, suffered enormous loss in the Pinery bushfire in 2015, says making good decisions is vital for a family farming business to remain sustainable, resilient and responsive to the challenges and opportunities presented.

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Post-fire planning helps to get back on track

Having a plan and acknowledging where on the grieving continuum someone sits are two crucial elements in bushfire recovery, according to emotional resilience expert Dennis Hoiberg.

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Mental Health web resource

The GRDC supports the mental wellbeing of Australian grain growers and their communities.

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Farmer health fact sheet

Emotional resilience is the willingness and capacity to accept that there will be good and bad times ahead, and to understand your reactions to these experiences and have strategies to manage them.

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Fire recovery - other useful resources

Fire prevention and preparation