The importance of readiness throughout bushfire season in Australia cannot be overstated. The unpredictable nature of bushfires underscores the need for proactive preparation, ensuring the safety of both wildlife undergoing rescue or transport and our dedicated volunteers. Here, we provide essential information to prepare you for the potential challenges that lie ahead.

Stay informed and stay safe by directing all emergency-related inquiries, updates, and requests to [email protected].

Your commitment and preparedness can make all the difference for your personal safety and the safety of the precious native wildlife we strive to protect.


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

WIRES is responsible for volunteer safety as part of our obligations under Work, Health and Safety legislation. It is also every WIRES volunteer’s responsibility to monitor and manage themselves in such a way that they don’t become a health and safety risk to themselves or others. Consider your own personal safety before committing to the rescue or transport of wildlife.

Animals that have been affected by fire may be found by members of the public, emergency workers or presented to local vets. These should be handled as per WIRES usual protocols. When engaging with the community please encourage community members to report affected animals to the WIRES Rescue Office on 1300 094 737 or to seek immediate medical attention from a local vet.

If community members are asking how they can assist, please ask them to follow the suggestions on WIRES Bushfire Factsheet and direct all media enquiries to [email protected].

Please note that WIRES has established Volunteer Emergency Response Teams that assist with the rescue of native wildlife during emergency events. These teams are made up of WIRES members who have undergone an extensive mandatory emergency response training program, and they are eligible to be deployed to incidents within their local and surrounding areas to assist with wildlife search and rescue. They play a vital role in WIRES operational field activities during a bushfire event.

Rescue 101 volunteers are not eligible to assist with wildlife search and rescue during or following a bushfire or natural disaster. Please monitor xMatters as usual and consider your safety and any changes to vet operating hours before accepting any rescues. Contact the WRO on 8977 3309 if you have any questions or concerns about an active rescue including a rescue that you may have already accepted or attended.


RFS offers a wealth of information to help you and your community prepare for the impending bushfire season. They've curated a range of resources aimed at assisting in these preparations, and WIRES recommends familiarising yourself with these tools. Additionally, consider attending any community events hosted by your local RFS for hands-on assistance.

Click here to be directed to the NSW RFS "Plan and Prepare" resources.


Bolster your preparedness for potential emergencies that may necessitate evacuation. Craft your own evacuation plan, taking the following into consideration:

Note: If you live in or are travelling through an area affected by a fire, keep in mind that bush and grass fires can cross highways and roads, smoke can reduce visibility, and roads may also be closed without warning. Please make sure you have all the information you need to keep safe.

By following these steps, you'll be better prepared to respond to a bushfire emergency and protect yourself and your loved ones. Remember that early preparation and staying informed are key components of a successful evacuation plan.

We highly recommend checking the following regularly:

If You're Caught in a Fire

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

Your Wellbeing

Please be aware that extreme events such as bushfires can cause stress and exhaustion. Take actions to safeguard your own welfare such as:

Please utilise available resources to support your mental and emotional health. You can find information on recommended mental health and wellbeing resources and WHS information on the Rescue 101 Volunteer Webpage.

The Rescue 101 Volunteer Coordinator is also available to assist at [email protected] or (02) 8977 3397.

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