New South Wales, December 1984

Bushfire - North-Western Regions

Quick Statistics

4 Fatalities
$25Million Insurance Costs
In 1984 New South Wales suffered its worst bushfire season in a decade. The season begun in early September 1984 and persisted into the following year finishing around February 1985, spanning just over five months.

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.


Information Sources

Insurance Council of Australia, Historical disaster statistics, March 2012, website viewed 24 May 2012
New South Wales Government, Ministry for Police and Emergency Services 1984 - 1985, Western NSW Bushfire, website viewed 26 May 2011