Bayindeen fire recovery information

Published on 23 February 2024

Information updated: 02/04/2024


    If you have been impacted by the Bayindeen fires, register your details with Pyrenees Shire Council to access recovery support.

    Phone: 1300 797 363

    Fire recovery information

    This page provides information about the services and support available to fire-impacted residents after the Bayindeen fire across the Pyrenees Shire.

    You can also download a printable version of the information on this page(PDF, 219KB).

    If you are in a life-threatening situation, you should always call Triple Zero (000) for police, fire or ambulance.

    Click on the links below to find the relevant information.

    What to do after the fires - information about what to do if you’ve been impacted by fire and where to seek support (including financial aid) after the immediate fire threat is over.

    Council services during and after the fires - information about Council office hours, phone numbers and important service announcements during and after the immediate fire threat.

    What to do during a fire - vital information to help keep you and your family safe during a bushfire emergency.



    It can be difficult to know what to do after an emergency, but Council and the State Government can help you:

    • Apply for payments and get financial help;
    • Find services to support your recovery;
    • Progress an insurance claim;
    • Refer you to mental health or wellbeing services;
    • Learn tips to help you or your family cope with stress;
    • Get legal support;
    • Get support for your business.

    If you have urgent recovery needs, like finding somewhere to stay if you can’t stay in your own home, call the Council on 1300 797 363 or the Emergency Recovery Hotline on 1800 560 760.

    Fire recovery

    Pyrenees Shire Council will work with the State Government to manage the Bayindeen fire recovery across impacted communities. Council and State Government agencies are in the process of planning this service and will keep the community updated via our website and other communications channels.

    More information will be made available over the coming weeks and months, so make sure you check back on our website – which will soon have a dedicated fire recovery section – or call Council on 1300 797 363.

    In the meantime, read on for information and resources that can help you and your loved ones.

    State Government website: 

    Register your details with Council

    If you have been impacted by the fire emergency, call Council on 1300 797 363 to register your details with our customer service team. Our team will provide more information to help you now but will also ensure you are registered for other relief support services that will become available over the coming weeks and months.

    Emergency relief and recovery payments

    Please note - applications for the Victorian Government's emergency relief payments closed on 2 April at 5pm.

    However, Services Australia also offers a disaster recovery payment, which is still open for applications - Western Victoria Bushfires, February 2024 - Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment - Services Australia

    Damaged / destroyed homes clean-up service

    Homes in the Pyrenees Shire that have been destroyed or damaged by fire and need to be demolished or have building material removed, are eligible for a free Victorian Government service. You can find more information and a registration form at or by calling 1800 560 760.

    Eligible works include:

    • Removal of any occupational, health or safety hazards and risks that could pose a danger.
    • Eligibility available for both insured and non-insured properties.
    • Demolition of a structure that has been destroyed or damaged beyond repair, including removing resulting debris.
    • Removal or trimming and collection of hazardous trees near the home being demolished, if they are in the impacted area and qualify for works.
    • Removal of burnt-out vehicles or those crushed by trees near the home that were previously functioning.

    Mental health and psychological support

    Taking care of your mental health after a traumatic event is vital. Download this flyer for a list of local services that can help you(PDF, 225KB).

    Local services include:

    • Ballarat Community Health for Head to Health, Step Thru Care and psychosocial support services – 0490 819 710
    • Headspace Ballarat – for people aged 12 to 25 – 5304 4777 or email
    • The Orange Door Ballarat – 1800 219 819
    • Uniting Care Ballarat Mental Health Service – 5332 1286
    • BADAC Social and Emotional Wellbeing Team – 5331 5344, extension 3
    • 13YARN First Nations Support – 139 276
    • Beyond Blue – 1300 224 636

    You can also visit these websites:

    Trauma resources

    Understanding distress reactions and their impact on family dynamics can help your loved ones and you cope. Here are some resources to help you with trauma in your family:


    Family violence support

    There is an increased risk of family violence after an emergency but help is available. Visit the State Government's Family Violence website or call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732). Please call 000 if you are in immediate danger. 

    Physical health

    For more information about keeping you and your family physically healthy after a bushfire, visit these websites:

    Beaufort and Skipton Health Service - check their website for the most current information.

    Wildlife impacted by fire

    If you find native wildlife injured by the fires, call the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA) on 136 186 or Wildlife Victoria on 8400 7300. More information can be found on the DEECA Wildlife website.

    Agricultural support and advice

    Visit Agriculture Victoria's bushfire website for more information. 

    Livestock welfare

    Agriculture Victoria's urgent animal welfare team are available to help. Call the VicEmergency Hotline on 1800 226 226.

    More information can be found on the Agriculture Victoria website.

    Livestock feed supplies

    Livestock owners impacted by the fires can contact James Kirkpatrick of the Pyrenees VFF on 0427 498 235 to request supplies of hay.

    You can also contact Need for Feed Australia at

    Fencing help

    BlazeAid has set up a base camp at Buangor. You can register for fencing help by contacting them via email

    For more information about BlazeAid’s Buangor camp, visit

    Fence repairs can also be organised through Council’s Recovery Team by calling 1300 797 363 or email



    A number of Council services have been impacted due to the ongoing emergency fire situation and ongoing road closures due to safety concerns. Please see the information below for more information.

    Due date extension for all rates payments

    Due to the fire emergency, Council has extended the due date for all payments relating to rates to 31 March 2024. Outstanding amounts will not be charged interest during this time.

    Residents who are experiencing financial hardship or need support to pay after this date are encouraged to contact the Council on 1300 797 363.

    Due date extension for animal registration renewals

    Council has also extended the due date for all cat and dog registration renewals to 30 April. Notices posted to residents will have a due date of 10 April (the state-wide requirement) however Council will accept payment up until the end of April with no penalty. 

    Emergency water sources

    Pyrenees Shire has a network of emergency water supply bores which provide water for emergency, stock and domestic purposes. 



    Stay informed through official channels

    For accurate and up-to-date information on the fires, including the latest warnings, please use the following services:

    Attend fire emergency community meetings

    Community meetings were held on Friday 1 March and recordings of these can be accessed here:

    These meetings will both be livestreamed through the Ararat Rural City Council Facebook page for Elmhurst (shared to the Pyrenees Shire Council page) and the Pyrenees Shire Council Facebook page for the Beaufort meeting.

    A note on live-stream sound quality:

    Due to the acoustics and background noise in the venues, which is difficult for us to control, it can sometimes be hard to hear what is being said over a live stream. Every effort is made to enhance the sound quality our end but if you are tuning into a live stream, there are some things you can do that will help:

    • Check the volume settings on both your device and within the Facebook video – these are two separate settings;
    • Use headphones connected to your device;
    • Try using your device on loudspeaker mode;
    • Try to limit background noise where you are;
    • Try to use a fixed-line internet connection if possible;
    • Wait for the meeting to finish and upload to Facebook, then watch the recording.


    Evacuate the area if you are ordered to by emergency services and/or official warnings

    If the area you’re in is likely to be impacted by a fire, you will be warned through the official channels listed above. It’s important that if you decide to leave, you leave early, taking with you your phone, charger, medications and pets. If you evacuate, head to friends or family outside the impacted area or to one of the Emergency Relief Centres.

    Please note - Emergency Relief Centres for the Bayindeen fires in Ballarat, Ararat and Maryborough have now closed.

    Let others know you’re safe if you’ve evacuated

    If you’re in a fire-impacted area and need to evacuate, it’s a good idea to let others know that you are safe. You can do this a number of ways, once you are out of immediate danger and are safe:

    If it’s too late to leave – Neighbourhood Safer Places (Bushfire Place of Last Resort)

    If you find yourself in a situation where authorities tell you it’s too late to leave, it is important to follow their instructions on how to stay safe until the fire has passed. You can find information about this on the CFA website.

    If all your other bushfire plans have failed, there are a number of Neighbourhood Safer Places across the Pyrenees Shire that may provide some protection from direct flame and heat from a fire, but they do not guarantee safety. It’s important to note that these locations are not an alternative to planning to leave early or to stay and defend your property; they are a place of last resort if all other fire plans have failed.

    Pyrenees Shire Neighbourhood Safer Places:

    Avoca: High Street median strip, High Street (Sunraysia Highway) between Cambridge Street and Russell Street

    Beaufort: Wotherspoon Park, corner Lawrence Street and Havelock Street

    Elmhurst: Elmhurst Mechanics Institute footpath and forecourt, 24 High Street (Pyrenees Highway)

    Lexton: Toll Bar Recreation Reserve, Williamson Street (between Sunraysia Highway and Skene Street)

    Snake Valley: St Brigid’s Catholic Church open space on north side, corner Linton-Carngham Road and Murrays Street

    Waubra: Waubra Rec Reserve grassed areas between bowling club and oval, 2091 Sunraysia Highway, Waubra

    You can find more information on Places of Last Resort on the CFA website.


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