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Assisting farmers affected by bush fires

Local Land Services staff from Central Tablelands, Central West, Hunter, North Coast and Northern Tablelands regions are continuing to offer support to landholders affected by recent Sir Ivan, Kains Flat and Ilford fires.

Acting as support agency with NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) under the agricultural and animal services functional area banner, veterinarians and biosecurity officers are in the firegrounds dealing with animal welfare issues.

Mudgee Local Control Centre Incident Controller Clare Hamilton said the extent of the damage is yet to be completely grasped.

Forward command posts have been established in Dunedoo and Merriwa. Staff based in these locations are working across the fireground to support landholders with affected livestock. Staff from across the state have come together to assist with this response.

While the number of affected animals continues to rise, amongst those reported lost to date are: sheep, cattle, goats, alpaca, horses, dogs, ducks, chickens and cats.

Central West Local Land Services Regional Veterinarian Jillian Kelly is working from the fire affected area and said landholders need to continue to monitor stock health. “While livestock may have initially appeared unaffected, we are now receiving reports of animals with badly-burned feet, respiratory and other health issues,” Dr Kelly said.

Landholders are urged to remain vigilant where animal welfare is concerned and are encouraged to call 1800 814 647 if they need advice.

Landholder support is also being offered by DPI through the Rural Assistance Authority and Rural Resilience Program.

To apply for a concessional loan, grant or freight subsidy, contact the Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593 or visit www.raa.nsw.gov.au.

Local councils have also assisted through the erection of signs on recently-opened roads warning of potential wandering stock due to the loss of fences.

Donations and other help you can provide

Donations of fodder are also being requested for fire affected farmers. If you have a delivery of fodder to donate please contact Libby MacIntyre from Local Land Services on (02) 6841 6525.

Donations of food, clothing, water and short term accommodation are also being accepted. For clothing and food donations contact Dunedoo Central School office on 6375 1489.

If you have short term accommodation available please contact Sharon Nott on 0428 859 509.

If you can assist with water deliveries please contact Peter McClung on 0428 863219.

Counselling for fire victims is also being arranged.

Townspeople are on hand to offer basic things like clothes washing. Dunedoo Central School will be organising this service.

Financial donations can also be made to the Country Women’s Association of NSW Disaster Relief Fund – Sir Ivan Fire. Donations are tax deductible.