Department of Human Services

DCSI Supporting community recovery after fires


The Department for Communities and Social Inclusion continues to support the recovery of communities affected by recent fires including the Thomas Foods International (TFI) fire at Murray Bridge and the Sherwood fire in the upper South East.

On Wednesday 3 January 2018, the TFI abattoir facility near Murray Bridge was severely damaged by a fire.

On Saturday 6 January, the Sherwood fire burnt 12,000 hectares, affecting more than 20 properties and resulting in livestock losses of over 2,600 and 100 hectares of crop losses including thousands of olive trees.

Community members affected by the fires can call the SA Recovery hotline on 1800 302 787 or visit for recovery advice, information and support. The hotline is available between 8am and 6pm, Monday - Friday.

Support available includes information about emotional support, health services, financial counselling, insurance and Centrelink.

People can donate to the Sherwood Bushfire Appeal online at (select SA) or over the phone on the Vinnies donations hotline 13 18 12.

Rural communities are very resilient and support one another after traumatic events like fire. However, sometimes the impact of a traumatic event isn’t obvious straight away, especially in the case of children.

Feelings of stress or grief are common for people affected by a fire. Seeking counselling or mental health support is a normal part of recovery and is good self-care.

Talk to your local GP about any issues or concerns you may have, or visit and click on ‘emotional recovery’ to find links to useful websites and phone numbers to support emotional recovery after a traumatic event like fire.

People affected by the TFI fire can also visit the Community Information Centre at the Murray Bridge Town Hall, 13-17 Bridge St, between 8.30am-5pm, Monday to Friday, closed on weekends and public holidays.

The Community Information Centre will connect individuals with relevant services including TFI human resources staff, Centrelink, Australian Red Cross and other counselling and support services.

More than 1,000 people have visited the centre and more than 680 people have registered at the centre since it opened on Thursday 4 January. The recovery hotline has received 65 phone calls since it was activated on 5 January 2018.

Livestock SA are coordinating requests for agistment and fodder, and donations from landowners wishing to help. Contact Livestock SA on 8297 2299

Stock owners needing urgent assistance to inspect, assess and dispose of burnt livestock are also encouraged to contact PIRSA’s Stock Assessment Hotline on 1800 255 556 or visit

TFI employees can call (08) 5832 1955 between 8am and 5pm Monday to Friday to speak with a Thomas Foods representative.

Page last updated : 29 Oct 2018

State Government of South Australia © Copyright DHS .[sm v5.4.7.1]