Bushfire recovery

Bushfire recovery

South Australia’s 2019 – 20 sum­mer bush­fires burnt over 90,000 hectares of nation­al park land result­ing in the clo­sure of some parks on Kan­ga­roo Island, in the Ade­laide Hills and in the South East until future notice.

Nation­al Parks and Wildlife Ser­vice South Aus­tralia (NPWS­SA) are work­ing to reopen bush­fire-affect­ed parks as soon as possible. 

What parks are closed?

The fol­low­ing Kan­ga­roo Island parks are closed until fur­ther notice:

The fol­low­ing Ade­laide Hills parks are closed until fur­ther notice:

  • Porter Scrub Con­ser­va­tion Park

The fol­low­ing South East/​Limestone Coast parks are closed until fur­ther notice:

  • Bun­bury Con­ser­va­tion Park
  • Car­cuma Con­ser­va­tion Park

See the clo­sures and alerts page for up to date information.

When will these parks reopen?

Cur­rent­ly closed parks will reopen as soon as it is safe and pos­si­ble to do so.

What parks have reopened?

How is wildlife recovering?

Work is under­way in part­ner­ship with oth­er organ­i­sa­tions to sup­port native ani­mal recov­ery, par­tic­u­lar­ly for the endan­gered Kan­ga­roo Island dun­nart and glossy black-cockatoo.

Our wildlife recov­ery efforts include imme­di­ate food and water drops, mon­i­tor­ing with motion-sens­ing cam­eras, pop­u­la­tion counts, fer­al cat and pig con­trol, plant­i­ngs as well as pro­vid­ing the envi­ron­ment time and space for nat­ur­al recovery.

High-tech koala count on Kangaroo Island

Some of the more wide­spread, abun­dant and mobile species, such as koalas, kan­ga­roos and wal­la­bies, have suf­fered sig­nif­i­cant mor­tal­i­ties, but their pop­u­la­tions are expect­ed to recov­er as habi­tat recovers. 

The exact num­ber of native ani­mals that per­ished has not been confirmed. 

Sev­er­al endan­gered species were severe­ly affect­ed. Spe­cif­ic recov­ery actions are under­way for the Kan­ga­roo Island dun­nart and the glossy black-cock­a­too.

Find out more in this Envi­ron­ment SA News sto­ry.

What is NPWS­SA doing? 

We have tak­en action to sup­port park and wildlife recov­ery, including:

  • Estab­lish­ing a Reimag­in­ing Kan­ga­roo Island Parks’ engage­ment
    Through the dev­as­ta­tion of the bush­fires, a unique oppor­tu­ni­ty has emerged to reimag­ine vis­i­tor expe­ri­ences in Flinders Chase Nation­al Park, as well as Kel­ly Hill Con­ser­va­tion Park (includ­ing Ravine des Casoars and Cape Bouguer wilder­ness pro­tec­tion areas and Cape Bor­da) and Seal Bay Con­ser­va­tion Park. Share your ideas and get involved with this engage­ment by reg­is­ter­ing your inter­est at: reimag​ine​-ki​.parks​.sa​.gov​.au
  • Using cam­eras to mon­i­tor wildlife
    Cam­eras have been installed in unburnt areas of Kan­ga­roo Island to mon­i­tor wildlife. Once it’s bet­ter-known what has sur­vived, options can be con­sid­ered for how to pro­tect these species.
  • Giv­ing parks time and space
    We are giv­ing South Australia’s bush­fire-affect­ed parks time and space to recov­er nat­u­ral­ly. Many native plant species are adapt­ed to sur­vive, regen­er­ate and thrive after fire.

Post-bushfires plant life is bouncing back at Flinders Chase on Kangaroo Island

  • Devel­op­ing a Wildlife and Habi­tat Bush­fire Recov­ery Plan
    NPWS­SA with advice from the Wildlife and Habi­tat Bush­fire Recov­ery Task­force is devel­op­ing a com­pre­hen­sive Wildlife and Habi­tat Bush­fire Recov­ery Plan, with the assis­tance of con­ser­va­tion and res­cue organ­i­sa­tions, as well as oth­er com­mu­ni­ty and vol­un­teer groups.
  • Car­ry­ing out fer­al ani­mal con­trol
    Fer­al ani­mal con­trol includes work­ing with land­hold­ers to report sight­ings and then imple­ment­ing mea­sures such as trap­ping and humane destruc­tion. This sup­ports native plant and ani­mal recov­ery for the long-term.
  • Devel­op­ing a new park man­age­ment plan for fire affect­ed parks on Kan­ga­roo Island
    The new man­age­ment plan will include 15 parks across the cen­tral and west­ern end of Kan­ga­roo Island and will set a long-term vision for the parks and describe the foun­da­tion­al pol­i­cy set­tings, man­age­ment arrange­ments, key val­ues and threats to those val­ues. The plan will con­tribute to sup­port­ing com­mu­ni­ty aspi­ra­tions, wildlife and eco­log­i­cal recov­ery, the reimag­in­ing of tourism expe­ri­ences and future fire man­age­ment needs. For more infor­ma­tion and how to get involved reg­is­ter your inter­est at https://​reimag​ine​-ki​.parks​.sa​.gov​.au/​n​e​w​-​p​a​r​k​-​m​a​n​a​g​e​m​e​n​t​-plan
  • Translo­ca­tion of koalas to Cle­land Wildlife Park
    The bush­fires burnt near­ly 300,000 hectares across the state, mis­plac­ing many native wildlife, includ­ing koalas. Cle­land Wildlife Park is car­ing for bush­fire-affect­ed koalas from the Ade­laide Hills and Kan­ga­roo Island. These koalas were tak­en in to help pre­vent them dying from star­va­tion due to loss of habi­tat, as well as to reha­bil­i­tate injured koalas. The Kan­ga­roo Island koalas now form part of a spe­cial dis­ease-free koala pop­u­la­tion on main­land South Australia

Australian Armed Forces help rescused Kangaroo Island koalas at Cleland Wildlife Park

How can you get involved?

Here are three things you can do to sup­port South Australia’s park and wildlife recovery:

  • Get involved with reimag­in­ing Kan­ga­roo Island’s parks
    Through the dev­as­ta­tion of the bush­fires, a unique oppor­tu­ni­ty has emerged to reimag­ine vis­i­tor expe­ri­ences in Flinders Chase Nation­al Park, as well as Kel­ly Hill Con­ser­va­tion Park (includ­ing Ravine des Casoars and Cape Bouguer wilder­ness pro­tec­tion areas and Cape Bor­da) and Seal Bay Con­ser­va­tion Park. Share your ideas and get involved with this engage­ment by reg­is­ter­ing your inter­est at: reimag​ine​-ki​.parks​.sa​.gov​.au
  • Become a vir­tu­al cit­i­zen sci­en­tist
    Sup­port bush­fire recov­ery by becom­ing a vir­tu­al cit­i­zen sci­en­tist. You can help bush­fire recov­ery by iden­ti­fy­ing ani­mals in pho­tographs tak­en by our motion sen­sor-acti­vat­ed cam­eras locat­ed across Kan­ga­roo Island’s bush­fire-affect­ed parks. Find out more about becom­ing a vir­tu­al cit­i­zen sci­en­tist by read­ing this Envi­ron­ment SA News sto­ry.

3 ways NPWSSA is working to support South Australia’s biodiversity following the summer bushfires

News

You can find out the lat­est bush­fire recov­ery news by vis­it­ing our news page.

More infor­ma­tion

Kan­ga­roo Island sto­ry map

Use our sto­ry map below to explore the 2019 – 20 sum­mer bush­fires and its impact on Kan­ga­roo Island’s parks and wildlife. You’ll also learn about the recov­ery journey.

Image and video packages

Flinders Chase Nation­al Park — Bush­fire recov­ery imagery and footage pack­age is avail­able for pro­mo­tion­al use. To request a copy of the pack­age, please email DEWtourism@​sa.​gov.​au.

Down­load­able fact sheets

SA fire and dis­as­ter recovery

Vis­it www​.dhs​.sa​.gov​.au/​r​e​c​overy for the lat­est state recov­ery infor­ma­tion. If you are not able to access the web­site please call the Bush­fire Recov­ery Hot­line on 1800302 787.

The recov­ery of South Australia’s nation­al parks and reserves is ongo­ing. This page will be updat­ed as more infor­ma­tion becomes available.

*Page last updat­ed: 3 July 2020

Parks and forests

Emer­gen­cies that affect parks and forests may force the clo­sure of roads, tracks and vis­i­tor facil­i­ties. The depart­ment tries to reopen any closed area as soon as pos­si­ble. How­ev­er, reopen­ing may take some time.

The department’s recov­ery role involves:

  • sup­port­ing local com­mu­ni­ty recov­ery from the nat­ur­al disaster
  • reha­bil­i­tat­ing and restor­ing the dam­age caused by fire con­trol oper­a­tions with­in parks and forests
  • reopen­ing the depart­men­t’s strate­gic road net­work and pro­tect­ing it from erosion
  • restor­ing for­est and park infrastructure
  • pro­tect­ing water qual­i­ty and supply
  • pro­tect­ing cul­tur­al her­itage sites
  • mon­i­tor­ing impor­tant plant and animals
  • weed and abun­dant ani­mal control.