DRFA EVENT - NSW - Hunter NSW Bushfires

DRFA EVENT - NSW - Hunter NSW Bushfires Main Image

NEW DISASTER RECOVERY FUNDING ARRANGEMENTS (DRFA) EVENT – New South Wales – Cessnock NSW Bushfires (14 December onwards)

On 19 November 2023, the NSW Reconstruction Authority (NSWRA) submitted a formal DRFA notification for bushfires in NSW that occurred from 14 December 2023 onwards.  

Event description: 

  • On the 14 December 2023 three bushfires were identified in the area of Abermain. The bushfires combined and continued to threatened multiple towns in the Cessnock Local Government Area.

o   As at 1030hrs 15/12/2023 the fire status is ‘being controlled’.

o   A Total Fire Ban (TOBAN) was declared on 14 October 2023 in line with an Extreme Fire Danger Rating for the Greater Hunter Region.

  • The NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) issued a S44 Declaration on 14 December 2023 assigning control of the firefighting activities to the state level.

o   This included the use of aerial firefighting.

  • An Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) has been established and co-located at the NSW RFA East Maitland Fire Control Centre with the RFS Incident Management Team (IMT)
  • The fire caused significant disruption to the region, and threatened lives and properties.

o   Many roads were impacted and closed, including Cessnock Road and warnings posted along the Hunter Expressway.

o   Heavy smoke throughout the region reduced visibility on roads affecting residents’ safe access throughout the community.

o   The Kurri Kurri Hospital was threatened.

  • The fire necessitated the deployment of NSW RFS and other emergency service volunteers and personnel, and the enactment of defensive bushfire preparations and bushfire survival plans by threatened households.

o   NSW RFS reports indicate approximately 12 residential properties and 1 commercial building have received structural impacts and damage from the bushfires.

o   Early reports indicate over 600 hectares of bush and private land has been burnt.

  • NSW RFS Situation Reports indicate that large numbers of firefighting personnel, equipment and aircraft have been deployed to contain the bushfires.
  • The NSWRFS led a coordinated multiagency operation in conjunction with state agencies, including NSW Police Force, Forestry Corporation, National Parks & Wildlife Service, Fire and Rescue NSW, and NSW SES.

Notified local government areas (LGAs)

DRFA assistance is being made available in the one (1) Local Government Area of:

  1. Cessnock City Council

DRFA assistance measures

The attached DRFA Factsheet contains information on the DRFA assistance measures being made publicly available by the New South Wales Government.

DRFA Factsheet Cessnock NSW Bushfires (14 December 2023) V1