SAVEM ACTIVATION REPORT – KYEEMA FIRE 19, 20 & 22 November 2015
SAVEM was Activated for the Kyeema fire by the PIRSA State Controller on Thursday, 19 November. Overnight intelligence from the fireground, via a PIRSA staff member who is also a CFS volunteer, was that no adverse animal incidents had been reported. No livestock had been impacted. Kangaroos, possums, echidnas, birds and reptiles are the most common wildlife species in the area. Koalas are rare.
The SAVEM Coordinator and the Logistics manager signed in to the Staging area at 1400 on Thursday 19 November, and reported to Incident Control in the Willunga Council Chambers. Briefing and mapping support was provided by the Deputy Incident Controller. Firescar was 86 hectares: with most of the area being very steep and rocky, with some areas of swamp. The fire was slow-moving, and the feeling was most macropods could outrun the firefront. A burned possum had been taken to Willunga Veterinary Services earlier in the day, but was euthanased, much to the disappointment of the CFS crews involved in its rescue.
On fireground, SAVEM liaised with DEWNR/NRM as well as CFS personnel, and met with some some local residents. All residences in the fireground along Enterprise Road and Burma Road were letter-boxed with SAVEM contact details. Due to the terrain, access was limited to public roads and some firebreaks. A local resident reported seeing a larger than usual number of red-bellied black snakes crossing Burma Road, heading west away from the fire, and other surviving animals may come out of the fireground in coming days.
SAVEM volunteers monitored the fireground on Friday 20 November, and ran a surveillance action over the perimeter again on the morning of Sunday 22 November. No injured or dead animals were seen.
Local people noticing animals in distress know to contact Willunga Veterinary Services which is well known in the area, and is on alert for wildlife cases. SAVEM can assist with advice if required. Many thanks to Dr Simon Edwards, one of SAVEM’s Operations Managers, for his contribution to this Activation.