2020 Bushfire Information

The 2019–20 bushfire season has been unprecedented in intensity, duration and loss of life and property. The annual bushfire season usually runs from December to March, however the prolonged drought and record breaking temperatures has seen fires heavily impacting regions in NSW from as early as September 2019, and continuing across Basin states at catastrophic levels into the new year.

This webpage is intended to provide a selection of direct links to emergency information, warning and recovery resources for impacted states across the Murray-Darling Basin. We also acknowledge the impacts of fires across Tasmania and Western Australia at this time.


After the bushfires - water quality and safety in the Basin

Basin-wide information
The Murray-Darling Basin Authority has published information on its website regarding water quality and safety in the Basin, including an updated water quality map:

NSW Information

The NSW Government has published a number of resources relating to water quality following the fires:

VIC Information

Information from the Victorian government includes:


Stay Informed

For up to date information regarding bushfires in your region, please click on the below links:


Australian Capital Territory

Current emergency information:


ACT Emergency Services Agency Media Conferences:


New South Wales

Current emergency information:



NSW Rural Fire Service Media Conferences:




Current emergency information:



Queensland Fire & Emergency Services Media Conferences:



South Australia

Current emergency information:


SA Country Fire Service Media Conferences:



Current emergency information:



Victorian State Control Centre Media Conferences:




It is normal for a distressing or frightening event to affect us physically, mentally and emotionally, even if we are not directly impacted. Long running fires, drought and other extremes in our local and extended areas can be extremely stressful and can trigger emotional, physical and psychological reactions. There are a number support services available to assist you and those closest to you up recover from the strong emotional or physical reactions you may be experiencing, and we recommend you take care to be aware. If at any time you are worried about your mental health or the mental health of a loved one, call Lifeline on 13 11 14, your doctor or community health centre.

Register, Find, Reunite Services (Help to locate loved ones or to let people know you’re safe):




There are a number of ways to get involved and help support the communities that have been impacted by the bushfires.  Donations of goods and services will be valuable in the months ahead when distribution networks have been established.  However the MDA recommends donating money to a registered not-for-profit organisation helping with the relief and recovery effort, or Community Relief Fund. Experience tells us that donation of money is much more effective and provides more flexibility than the donation of material items or pre-loved goods. The following links provide a selection of agencies where your donations will help to combat the bushfires.

  • Victorian Bushfire Appeal
    The Victorian Government has partnered with Bendigo Bank and The Salvation Army to establish the Victorian Bushfire Appeal, with 100% of donated funds going directly to communities in need.
    Donations to the Victorian Bushfire Appeal can be made online at Community Enterprise Foundation or at any Bendigo Bank branch.
    If you are living outside Australia and would like to donate, email Community Enterprise Foundation at: foundation.mailbox@bendigoadelaide.com.au
  • Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery - more information available here.
  • Salvation Army Disaster Appeal - more information available here
  • St Vincent De Paul Bushfire Appeal (NSW) - more information available here
  • World Wildlife Fund - Bushfire Emergency - more information available here.
  • NSW WIRES (Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service Inc.) Emergency Fund - more information available here

To support our fire-fighters and volunteers, please make a donation via the following websites:


The following information provides as a quick reference for MDA communities and members in need of help which can be sourced through the various government relief and recovery support options:

Australian Government Financial Assistance

Disaster Recovery Payment: https://www.disasterassist.gov.au/Pages/disaster-recovery-payment.aspx

Disaster Recovery Allowance   https://www.disasterassist.gov.au/Pages/disaster-recovery-allowance.aspx

Volunteer Firefighters – Financial Support (NSW Bushfires 31 AUG 19 onwards): https://www.disasterassist.gov.au/Pages/disasters/current-disasters/New-South-Wales/northern-nsw-bushfires-31082019-onwards.aspx

QLD Government:

Emergency Hardship Assistance: https://www.qld.gov.au/community/disasters-emergencies/financial-assistance/immediate-hardship-assistance

NSW Government:

Rural Assistance Authority: https://www.raa.nsw.gov.au/disaster-assistance

Disaster Recovery Grants: https://www.raa.nsw.gov.au/grants/disaster-recovery-grants/bushfires

VIC Government:

Disaster Recovery Payments: https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/victorian-bushfires-december-2019-australian-government-disaster-recovery-payment

Disaster Recovery Allowance:  https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/victorian-bushfires-december-2019-disaster-recovery-allowance

Emergency Re-Establishment Payments: https://services.dhhs.vic.gov.au/personal-hardship-assistance-program

SA Government:

State Emergency Relief Fund: https://www.sa.gov.au/topics/emergencies-and-safety/recovery/donating


Disaster Recovery Payment: https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/south-australian-bushfires-november-2019-australian-government-disaster-recovery-payment

Disaster Recovery Allowance: https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/south-australian-bushfires-november-2019-disaster-recovery-allowance


Image credits:

Banner image: NSW RFS Adam Stevenson

Photo 1: Dean Lewis EPA

Photo 2: Brett Hemmings Getty Images