Friday 26 February will be SAVEM’s last official day on the Cherry Gardens fireground. We were Activated on 25 January, and have been on fireground for five weeks. We have assessed hundreds of animals – managed and treated the injured and released the recovered. We would like to thank DEW (especially the Scott Creek CP Rangers, and Cleland Wildlife Park) and SA Water for their excellent collaboration. Our official debriefs and data analysis will take place in coming weeks. Officially we will be stood down at midnight tomorrow, but we will continue to support the fire-affected communities and their animals and wildlife where required. Residents and public finding a fire-affected animal are encouraged to ring SAVEM to manage the situation. We know from our operational experience at other fires – such as the 2015 Sampson Flat fire and the fires of 2019/2020 at Cudlee Creek and on Kangaroo Island, that wildlife commonly survive for eight to ten weeks after a fire, and we expect there will be a need for assistance from time to time over the next few weeks.
As the SAVEM Commander for this response I would like to thank all our superb volunteers who have willingly contributed their time and expertise.
Photos below: (L) some healthy koalas have been supported in situ with food and water. (R) Epicormic growth on eucalypts in the SA Water reserve – new life is surprisingly quick to appear.