Wildlife affected by fire

Wildlife in areas impacted by fire are often disoriented, smoke-affected, hungry and dehydrated. Some may also be suffering from burns and other injuries. Following a fire, it is expected that injured and uninjured wildlife will be seen moving through and near the fire ground. Motorists should watch out for displaced animals along roadsides.

During a fire, the Incident Controller will determine if a wildlife response is required.  Once deployed, the wildlife assessment teams will be embedded in the Incident Management Team (IMT) established to manage the incident.  These assessment teams will consist of trained and accredited agency staff.  In some cases they will be supported by trained volunteers.

Volunteers deployed to wildlife emergencies are required to work within established emergency management structures which include prerequisite training and accreditation, registration, communication and reporting procedures, as well as the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and the adoption of hazard specific safety measures.

Fire grounds are dangerous, even after the fire front has passed. Individuals, wildlife rescue and rehabilitation groups must not self-deploy to search for wildlife.

Members of the public are urged to take care if attempting to help injured or distressed animals outside of the fire area.  Improper rescue techniques by an untrained or inexperienced person can cause further distress or injury to the animal and put the rescuer at risk.

Find out more about volunteering during wildlife emergencies

Page last updated: 16/11/20