A Raging Fire
On 29th November last year, James and I stood watching what became the 37,425ha Tallaganda state forest rage towards Little Oak Sanctuary. The smoke, the heat, and the site of flames headed towards us was of a scale we had never experienced before. It was truly overwhelming and terrifying, especially because at that moment we realised we were underprepared.
186 terrified animals
We had never faced such a massive fire threat, one that necessitated the evacuation of all 186 animals. Our fire plan was implemented and our animals were evacuated to safety. Thankfully, this time, we had time on our side - but there are no guarantees this will be the case next time.
The 2019 bushfire was something we weren't adequately prepared for. We need your help to be bushfire ready this season.
Please donate today to help keep all animals and their sanctuary safe this summer.
All animals who live out their lives at Little Oak Sanctuary have been rescued from abuse, neglect and abandonment. They all have a story and they all deserve a safe home. Help us take critical steps to improve our fire plan.
This year, whilst we hope for the best, we are working to be prepared for the worst. You can never be too prepared for an Australian bushfire. From first-hand experience, we know what needs to be done to improve our fire plan.
Our goal is to raise $27k to keep our animals safe – can you help us?
All of these things are essential for us to be fire ready this summer and beyond:
Fire fighting equipment: We stayed behind to fight the fire and protect the sanctuary, but our equipment was outdated, experienced failures and desperately needs to be upgraded. Whilst we may need to evacuate our animals, we will always stay to defend their sanctuary, and we need the proper equipment to do this as safely and effectively as possible. We urgently need two professional mobile firefighting units to help us protect the sanctuary from threatening fires. The units are equipped with water storage, hoses & reels, foam dispenser, lights and storage capacity, and sit either on the back of a ute or in a trailer. These units will allow us to better defend our property from fire threats, wherever they pop up. The units will also be vital in helping us cart water for animals and trees we have planted throughout summer and the rest of the year Funds needed: $5,000
Vehicle maintenance: Our farm vehicles (funded by sanctuary co-founders, Kate & James), desperately require maintenance. They are used to cut fire breaks, fight fires and to evacuate our animals. Little Oak Sanctuary is fortunate enough to have two horse floats. They're old, but they're functional, and in fire situations they save lives. Both trailers have had extensive use this year, and along with last years, evacuation use both now need substantial repairs. Funding these repairs have been beyond our capacity this year with the added pressures of two "once in ten-year" floods and the Covid pandemic. Help us undertake the repairs we need in order to have our trailers evacuation and rescue-ready! Funds needed: $7,500
Safety zones: Last year we had time to evacuate but the reality is that this may not always be the case. We need to build safety areas for animals when we are under fire threat. Fencing is critical to ensure when we move them to safety, they remain safe. Sometimes fires start so quickly or are so close that there is not enough notice to evacuate. Little Oak Sanctuary's fire plan has several options depending on the direction of fire threat and the amount of notice we get. One of these is to move animals to a particular side of the property that is farthest from the fire threat, but we need more fences to allow us to do that properly, and to respond to fire threats from any direction. It will allow us to move the animals to a smaller area that's easier to protect, allowing us to move around and defend them and the sanctuary more easily. More paddocks will also allow us to house animals who need to evacuate from other properties, improve our parasite control measures year-round, and allow us to rest paddocks, boosting pasture resilience. Funds needed: $7,800
Evacuation & rescue vehicles: Our trailers and horse float are used to evacuate animals in large numbers and they require urgent maintenance to ensure they are safe to use when needed. Little Oak Sanctuary's farm vehicles (a 30-year-old backhoe, 1961 tractor, tipper truck, farm ute and dedicated fire ute) have undertaken heavy use this year, cutting fire breaks and repairing our bridge and driveway access twice. Specialist mechanics that come out to the sanctuary are expensive, but we really need to ensure this machinery does not stop when we need it the most. Help us ensure they are ready to work through another fire season, and beyond, by ensuring they're serviced and have any necessary repairs undertaken. Funds needed: $7,000
James and I have faced some tough years. Years filled with drought, fires, floods and now the pandemic. Never before have we needed urgent help but with summer quickly approaching we need your support to strengthen our fire plan. We know from experience what we need to do but we need your help to do it.
Summer is quickly approaching and we are running out of time…
Please support Little Oak Sanctuary to be Fire Ready this summer – Together, we can help keep all animals and their sanctuary safe.