It is during our darkest moment that we must focus to see the light - Aristotle

Bushfire Resilience Day

The CFS has designated 16 February as ‘Bushfire Resilience Day’, an occasion to honour those who lost their lives in a South Australian bushfire, recognise the strength of those who recovered from a disaster experience and adapted to their changed lives, and encourage positive actions that build greater bushfire resilience.

In 1977, the SA Country Fire became a unified state-funded agency under the Country Fires Act. Since then, bushfires in South Australia have resulted in the significant loss of lives, homes, pets, belongings, livestock and other sources of livelihoods. Bushfires have also had a lasting mental health affect on communities.

Climate change means there is a significant likelihood of more severe, more frequent, and longer climatic events over the coming years. This only increases the need for people to be educated, informed and supported to build greater resilience in emergency situations.

As a fire and rescue agency, the 16 February has great significance as it is the anniversary of Ash Wednesday 1983, a pivotal moment for many and one that helped shape the CFS as it is stands today. Since then, the CFS has demonstrated the benefit of a centrally organised and state-funded organisation, highly trained volunteer base, state-of-the-art equipment, and safe systems of work to enable our members to safely respond to bushfires.

Building resilience

There are a number of organisations in South Australia who are working to strengthen resilience and help communities prepare for bushfires, including:

  • ifarmwell Bushfire Module: This bushfire module has been designed with Australian farmers to help other Australian farmers to manage the impact of major farm fires on their wellbeing and to prepare both psychologically and practically in case they experience a bushfire again.
  • RediCommunities: Australian Red Cross is partnering with communities to run RediCommunities, a series of community-led workshops aimed at strengthening community resilience and preparing for disasters.
  • Resilient Ready: Delivering solutions for every organisation to thrive before, during and after disasters.
  • Disaster Relief Australia: Empowering communities with projects to build disaster resilience and foster a sense of pride.
  • Bushfire Mental Health Project: Wellbeing SA is working in partnership with government, non-government and philanthropic organisations through a four year Bushfire mental health project. 
  • Torrens Resilience Initiative: Australia's longest-standing research initiatives dedicated to disaster preparedness and management.
  • The Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience: Developing, maintaining and sharing knowledge and learning to support a disaster resilient Australia.
  • SA  Councils: Contact your local council to see what initiatives or support they provide.