Emergency Fire Update

Emergency Fire Update

Thursday, September 12, 2019

The fire season has started early again this year and many regions are suffering. 

We have been inundated by the community wanting to help, and requesting updates on affected wildlife. WIRES' volunteers are doing all they can to help the native animals that have been impacted, and there are specific ways members of the community can help which are outlined below.

Unless WIRES is notified to respond via the Department of Primary Industry (DPI) Agriculture and Animal Services Functional Area, WIRES must wait until the fire grounds have been declared safe to actively search for wildlife. No WIRES volunteers can enter the fire ground until it has been declared safe.

Fires present a significant risk to the safety of volunteers and community members and the activities conducted during and after a fire event must follow the directives of the first responder organisations such as RFS, Fire & Rescue NSW and SES. 

3 Ways to Help Wildlife

  1. If you find any animals impacted by fires in NSW, please contact WIRES Rescue Line on 1300 094 737 for advice and assistance. Please read WIRES emergency wildlife rescue advice and if it is safe to do so, please take any injured animals immediately to the nearest vet. Injured animals need vet treatment urgently, to increase their chances of recovery and survival. If you let WIRES know which vet you've taken the animal to, we will follow up with the vet to bring the animals into care after they have been assessed and received any treatment required.
  2. For more information about assisting native animals impacted by fires please read WIRES Bushfire Factsheet.
  3. To help WIRES rescue and care for more wildlife please donate to WIRES Emergency Fund, all gifts $2 and over are tax-deductible.

This squirrel glider is one of the animals recently rescued by WIRES Volunteer Robyn in Clarence Valley. She was found in a fire zone covered in soot and her feed were black. She has received treatment and is doing well.

There are other fire affected animals including a python and glider being monitored in care. Sadly, some animals have been too severely burnt to be saved. In addition to the fire related rescues WIRES' volunteers are responding to other requests for rescue help for hundreds of sick, injured and orphaned native animals every day.  

Only licenced wildlife carers can rehabilitate native animals and WIRES always needs more volunteers. If you are interested in joining WIRES to help rescue and care for native animals, you can sign up after reading the information about becoming a volunteer.

Staying Safe During Fire Emergencies

If you live in or are travelling through an area affected by a fire please make your personal safety a priority. Bush and grass fires often cross roads and highways, smoke can reduce visibility and roads may also be closed without warning. Please make sure you have all the information you will need to keep safe


If you are caught in a fire:

  • Call Triple Zero 000
  • Park off the road in a clear area away from trees, scrub and tall grass
  • Face the front of your car towards the fire
  • Stay in the car below the windows to protect yourself from radiant heat
  • Turn off the engine and turn on headlights and hazard lights
  • Close windows and air vents
  • Cover yourself with a woollen blanket
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Cover your mouth with a damp cloth
  • Stay down until the sound of the fire has passed, carefully leave the car (it will be hot)

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