On Christmas Day 1984 more than 100 fires were started by lightning strikes with approximately 500,000 ha burnt. The biggest fire was in January at Cobar where around 516,000 ha was destroyed by fire. The bushfire season for 1984/1985 produced around 6000 separate incidents with a total of 3.5 million ha damaged.
The bushfires created widespread damage and heavy losses to farming communities, which included losses to crops, plantations, machinery and equipment as well as 40,000 livestock. The bushfires claimed the lives of four people.
The Insurance Council of Australia estimated the 1985 damage at $25 million, with the 2011 estimated normalised cost of $179 million.