Is your farm fire-ready?


By Katelyn Braine
District Veterinarian

M: 0499 339 018 |

Photo showing a farm hill blackened by fire, with tracks from fire fighting trucks visible.It's the time of year when we’re thinking about holidays and end-of-year catch-ups with friends and family, but have you thought about whether your farm is fire-ready? It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to bushfires, so it’s important to ask how fireproof your animal emergency or farm fire plans are. Being fully prepared for bushfires can help you protect yourself, your family, your pets and livestock, and your property.

There is a range of measures to enable you minimise the threats and impacts of fire on your property and livestock. The first step is always to discuss what you will do in the event of a fire. The NSW State Emergency Service (SES) and NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) websites have a range of resources to help you have this discussion and develop your Animal Emergency Plan or Farm Fire Plan. You can access them by searching “get ready animals” at or “farm fire safety” at

Steps to prepare your property for bushfire include:

  • creating or reviewing your animal emergency plan and farm fire plan
  • preparing adequate low-risk paddocks where stock can access water and where potential bushfire fuel is minimal; these paddocks should be large enough to allow stock to move away from the fire and ideally be protected by a road or a 3-6-metre ploughed fire break.
  • keeping hay stored at multiple locations to minimise risk of loss, protecting sheds with a fire break and minimising fuel levels around them.
  • ensuring all your livestock are identified with National Livestock Identification System ear tags and that all your horses, cats and dogs are microchipped.
  • creating an emergency kit for your animals that includes a list of emergency phone numbers, any medications, animal first aid supplies, wire cutters and a sharp knife.

In a bushfire emergency, Local Land Services works with the NSW Department of Primary Industries to coordinate rescue, evacuation and emergency care for animals.

For further information and advice on how to prepare for bushfires, contact the Local Land Services on 1300 795 299, or drop into your Local Land Services office.

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