Bushfire aftermath – hazards

Bushfires are a powerful and potentially devastating occurrence. Clean up and recovery after a bushfire can be heart wrenching, traumatic and also dangerous. Dealing with dead and surviving livestock, trying to retrieve belongings from fire damaged buildings, dealing with hazardous materials and repairing burnt fences is all physically and emotionally difficult work. It is important to be cautious and take time to protect your safety.

Department of Primary Industries in your state, local veterinarians and your local council can coordinate and provide recovery assistance and advice to primary producers impacted by a natural disaster event. Assistance can be provided to assess and evaluate your stock damage and assist with disposal of animals that need to be destroyed.

For more information on bushfire support and information visit Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment For more safety tips on bushfire aftermath visit Better Health Channel.

For tips on important information on returning home after a bushfire visit your relevant local, regional or state emergency websites.

Keep a focus on the social and emotional health of yourself, family members, employees and neighbours be aware of signs and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) which can take months or even years to appear.
Symptoms of PTSD include vivid memories, feeling constantly on edge and avoiding reminders of the event.

For more information on Post Traumatic Stress disorder visit Better Health Channel.

If you feel you or someone else needs help or more information on managing stress on farm go to the Farmer Health Support Page to access support contacts.

Fast facts:

  • Cleaning up after a bushfires can be traumatic, difficult and dangerous.
  • Consider seeking support for yourself or others.
  • Be alert of any remaining embers for six or more hours after the fire is out.
  • Stay clear of fallen power lines, they could be live.
  • Be aware of potential hazards like farm chemicals or asbestos.
  • Seek professional help to assess livestock.

References used for this topic

More information:

Better Health Channel
Bushfire aftermath – safety tips

Department of Environment and Primary Industries (Vic)
Recovery after an emergency

Vic Emergency
Recovering from a bushfire

Better Health Channel
Post-traumatic stress disorder PTSD

Clinical care:

University of Melbourne – Centre for Disaster Management and Public Safety
Beyond Bushfires: Community Resilience and Recovery

Australian Psychological Society
Recovery from disasters
Recovery from bushfires