Cudlee Creek Fire

On Friday 20 December 2019 an uncontrolled fire broke out in Cudlee Creek.​ Over 25,000 hectares of the district was burned including homes, outbuildings, vehicles and other property. Recovery will be different for everyone, but as a district we understand that it will be a long process.

Next Community Meeting
Wednesday 11 March, 6:30pm
Cudlee Creek Soldiers Memorial Hall

Contacts for people affected by the fire (including official Recovery Centre)
Recovery Newsletter
Childcare for families affected by the fire
Financial assistance for people affected by the fire
Rates support
Planning and Building information
Support for small businesses
Find a Justice of the Peace (JP)
Donate to help people affected by the fire
In the fire zone:
> Fencing and property boundaries
> Trees
> Waste
> Water supply and rain water tanks
> Swimming pools after a fire
> Power (including food safety)
> Livestock
> Asbestos
> Recreation (including updates regarding Lobethal Bushland Park)
Further information and help


Recovery Hotline
If you have been affected by the fires please call 1800 302 787 for information and support.

Local Recovery Centre
This one-stop resource is designed to provide assistance and support to people affected by the Cudlee Creek Fire and remains the go-to location for information and updates.

Fabrik Arts + Heritage in the former Onkaparinga Woollen Mill
1 Lobethal Road, Lobethal
Open Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm
Saturday 9am to 1pm
Closed Sundays and public holidays.

Alex Zimmerman, Local Recovery Coordinator - 0418 258 304
Miranda Hampton, Community Recovery Officer - 0437 123 904

For an online summary of services you can also visit the Department of Human Services website.

Mental Health Management (advice from SA Health)
We are all susceptible to the effects of stress and grief during and after a disaster or an emergency, and sometimes we need extra help to cope. For crisis mental health support contact the Mental Health Triage Service on 13 14 65. This service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

For free online and phone counselling support (24 hours a day, seven days a week) contact Regional Access on 1300 032 186. This service is available for anyone in regional, rural or remote South Australia; you do not need a referral.

Lifeline dedicated phoneline
Lifeline has launched a 24/7 phoneline dedicated to providing support to people who have been affected by bushfires. Crisis Supporters will provide support that is specific to the effects of the bushfire and referrals can be made to services local to the caller.

Access this resource by calling 13 HELP (13 43 57).

Assistance with fencing. Coordinators: Andy O'Donahue and Sue Jackson, 0499 555 815,

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Keep up to date with what's happening in regards to local recovery.
Issue 3 (19 February)
Issue 2 (4 February)
Issue 1 (22 January)

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Human Services SA is providing free childcare for families with babies, children, and young people, who are involved in the response to the Cudlee Creek Fire. The service is staffed by qualified and experienced, professional childcare workers.

If you need assistance with childcare to free you up for recovery work, or you just need some respite, then this service is for you.

Find them at Lobethal Lutheran School, 48 Main Street Lobethal, Monday to Friday from 9:30am to 3:30pm.

Call 0428 159 838 for bookings. Click here for further details.

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Grants and direct financial assistance
South Australians who have been impacted by the Cudlee Creek Fire can apply for financial assistance from a variety of sources including Re-establishment Grants, Disaster Recovery Allowance, Emergency Grants, and grants for small business and primary producers.

For a full list of current sources of financial assistance, visit the Department of Human Services.

Telstra Assistance Package (including CFS Volunteer Assistance)
Telstra has set up a phone number for anyone affected by the Cudlee Creek Fire, including CFS volunteers: 13 22 03.

A CFS/RFS Volunteer Assistance Package has been set up to cover the cost of volunteer fire fighters' mobile phone bills over the period of December 2019 and January 2020 to show thanks for their efforts. CFS volunteers, as well as anyone who has had to evacuate their home, or has lost their home due to the bushfires, should also call to register for the assistance package.

Call 13 22 03.

Australian Bank Assistance
Residents affected by bush fire are encouraged to contact their bank to access available assistance. Australian banks have hardship teams ready to assist with financial arrangements fitting your circumstances.

Assistance could include:

  • Deferred loan payments
  • Waiving fees and charges
  • Helping with debt consolidation
  • Waiving penalties for early withdrawal of a term deposit, or
  • Deferring upcoming credit card payments and increasing emergency limits

Click here to find your bank's hardship team contact details.

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A letter has been sent to all residents affected by the Cudlee Creek Fire. The letter contains details about what to do if you are unable to pay your rates, and what happens to your rates if your property has been damaged. Below is a summary of key questions you may have.

When will I receive my rates notice?
You will receive your quarterly Council rates notice in the week commencing 27 January 2020. But we want you to know that we are here if you need help.

What happens if I can't pay my rates?
If you are experiencing financial hardship and anticipate difficulty paying the next rate instalment notice, we will work with you to make alternative arrangements. Please contact Council's rates team on 8408 0400 to discuss this with them.

What happens to my rates if my property has been damaged?
The Office of the Valuer-General is revaluing all properties affected by the Cudlee Creek bushfires which will take into account the damage caused. The Valuer-General has also instructed Land Services SA (LSSA) to undertake amended values for this financial year.  Revaluations are relevant to any property damage brought about by the Cudlee Creek bushfire, where the value has been materially diminished.  For example this would include, but not limited to, properties where houses, major shedding and horticulture plantings are destroyed or significantly damaged. 

When will my rates change?
From 1 January 2020 your Council rates will be updated based on this revaluation.  It is the Office of the Valuer-General's priority to resolve any rate issues for affected property owners as soon as possible. Due to the widespread damage caused by bushfires in South Australia this process will take a number of months. We will be in touch as soon as we have more details.

Will I get a credit if my rates go down and I overpay now?
Yes. If your rates are revalued and your rates go down, any payment you have made between the event of the fire and the next rate instalment will be credited to your account. 

Where can I find out more information about the rate revaluation?
Call our team, we are here to help. You can contact us on 8400 0400 or email 

Please contact our rates team on 8408 0400 to discuss any concerns or questions you have on this topic.

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Our Development Services Team is committed to assisting with recovery from the Cudlee Creek bushfire.

Click here for a fact sheet with an overview of what you need to know in regards to planning and development if your property has been affected by the fire.

Click here to download an application form to view or copy plans and building reports held by Council.

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The Australian Government has put together a summary of support available to small businesses impacted by natural disasters. These include tips for disaster assistance, the Australian Taxation Office, financial counselling, mental health and wellbeing assistance, and support for farmers.

Specific to South Australia are the following supports.

Creatives for Bushfires
Professionals from some of Australia's leading advertising, creative and communication agencies have pledged to donate their time and skills to help fire impacted organisations.

Visit if you would like to connect with a creative agency or professional offering their help.

Free assistance from Rural Business Support
The team at Rural Business Support (RBS) can provide free, independent and confidential support for eligible primary producers and small rural businesses who are in financial difficulty, including those affected by the Cudlee Creek Bushfire.

Rural financial counsellors can provide support with preparing for meetings with insurers, banks, and lenders, preparing cash flow, and accessing other services.

Visit for more information or call 1800 836 211.

A Justice of the Peace (JP) is a person appointed by the Attorney-General to act as an independent and objective witness to documents people use for official or legal purposes.

A JP can act as an authorised witness to the signing of a statutory declaration, which may be needed for legally verifying insurance claims, lost passports etc.

Click here to search for a JP near you. The roll includes people who speak languages other than English; you can include this requirement in your search parameters.

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People wishing to support community members who have been hit hard by the Cudlee Creek Bushfire can make a financial contribution to the State Emergency Relief Fund for the Cudlee Creek Fire. Donating money is the most helpful way to contribute to disaster-affected communities so they can buy exactly what they need, and spend locally.

State Emergency Relief Fund (SERF) for the Cudlee Creek Fire
Make a tax-deductible donation online, via cheque, or in person at any Commonwealth Bank branch.

  • Electronic funds transfer to the SERF, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, BSB 065 266, Account 10020160, Description must state 'donation'.
  • Credit card - visit the SERF BPoint payment website, or phone 1300 276 468 and enter biller code 1002359.
  • Cash - go into any branch of the Commonwealth Bank and donate over the counter giving the details BSB 065 266, Account 10020160.
  • Cheque - send to State Emergency Relief Fund, Donations, QA Finance, GPO Box 292, Adelaide SA 5001

If you are in a position to donate your time and skills you can connect with people in need through the WeDo app.

To register your interest in emergency volunteer work you can coordinate with Volunteering SA&NT.

If you have experience or enthusiasm to help with fence repairs and installation, contact BlazeAid.

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The precise position of property boundary locations are reliant on three key factors:

  • Plans of Survey held the Land Title's Office
  • Permanent Survey Marks on site, typically steel or concrete marks buried in the ground
  • Existing fence locations

In the fire scar area two of these factors may have been damaged, and the office of the Surveyor-General is currently working on locating and protecting existing survey marks that are critical for reinstating boundaries.

For more information please download this fact sheet.

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Council has worked to clear over 1,000 trees in the fire scar zone to make access possible for our community. We're continuing to work on a process to return some of the suitable wood from clearance works to people in the community for winter burning purposes. More information on this to come when it is confirmed.

There are five stages to tree clearance during recovery that the community can look out for.

  1. Initial clearance: roads to be cleared of debris to allow people back to their properties.
    • Council achieved stage 1 by Christmas Eve 2019.
  2. First assessment: roadside trees are assessed by a qualified arborist for pruning or removal. Trees are marked with white paint (an X for removal or O for pruning).
  3. Primary works completed.
  4. Second assessment: roadside trees are assessed again by a qualified arborist to ensure any trees not identified for work in the first assessment are marked for further work.
  5. Final works completed.
For information on dealing with burnt native vegetation view this fact sheet on native vegetation and burnt trees.


A range of waste disposal options have been put together for fire-affected residents including green organics drop off days, tip vouchers and additional hard waste collections. For a full overview of available services, please visit the waste services page.


Normal mains water supply to customers in the fire affected areas of the Adelaide Hills are progressively being restored by SA Water. For the latest information please visit the SA Water website or phone 1300 729 283.

Community Wastewater Management Systems (CWMS) in fire-affected townships have been restored.

If you require potable (drinking) water at your home, please phone the SA Water Customer Care Line on 1300 883 121. Note that customers who have had their water used to fight fires will have this replenished free of charge when the CFS confirms that the water was used for this purpose. For residents who are not SA Water customers that had their water used to fight fires, please call Mt Barker CFS Headquarters (Region 1) on 8391 1866 during office hours.

If you require water for livestock to be delivered you can call a potable water carting business, however water for people will be first priority.

Ash and debris from bushfire can contaminate rainwater supplies. Although the presence of ash and debris does not present a health risk, it could affect colour, clarity, and taste. Read more about rainwater quality after a bushfire on SA Health.

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After a fire many backyard swimming pools may experience a build up of ash and debris, which affects the quality of water. Owners should be aware of how to best clean and maintain their pool to ensure its safety.

Click here for tips from pool and spa specialist network, Swimart.

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To keep informed about any power outages affecting your home or business, register for free SMS/emails updates.

After a power failure of any kind, food may no longer be safe to consume. Remember, when in doubt, throw it out. Click here for more tips and information about food safety in an emergency from SA Health.

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The Livestock SA fodder dump at Oakbank Racecourse has now closed.

If you have enquiries please contact Livestock SA on 8297 2299 or see their website for information on fodder donations and assistance.

Livestock assistance on private property – PIRSA 8226 0995
Livestock assistance on Roads – SAPOL  131 444

Public are reminded to contact the PIRSA Agriculture and Animal Services Hotline: 1800 255 556 for all deceased animal / stock management and disposal advice.

Do not dispose of animals through general waste services. 

This EPA factsheet has more information on disposal of deceased livestock.

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Council does not have staff with the expertise to assess or remove asbestos. If you home has been affected by fire and has asbestos please do not disturb the debris/ remains. Please refer to this website for information around asbestos risks following a fire.

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Due to extensive fire damage and the resulting safety concerns in the area, Lobethal Bushland Park has been closed to the public. On Friday 31 January Council was joined by the Australian Defence Force and Team Rubicon Australia who assessed tree safety and cleared debris along walking trails so that we are able to safely conduct a staged reopening.

As well as clearing the way for the Park to reopen, our team noted that amongst the charred landscape there are signs of life emerging, including small re-sprouting grasses and eucalypts, to the hardy and resilient yaccas. We look forward to welcoming the community back into this treasured space.

Click here for more information

​The Australian Defence Force head
into the Park to assess tree safety

​Team Rubicon and Council staff after
a hot day of work in the Park

​Plant life is beginning to resprout
in the charred landscape

The Amy Gillett Bikeway is partially obstructed due to downed tree branches and other debris. This Bikeway is managed by the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure and they will be arranging clearing for this resource.

To stay up to date with any visitor experiences that have been impacted by fire damage please consult Adelaide Hills Tourism.

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