New South Wales, February 2017

Sir Ivan fire, 2017

Quick Statistics

35 Homes Destroyed

The Sir Ivan fire was caused by a lightning strike on 11 February, and burned through approximately 55,000 hectares in the Warrambungle Shire; much of it in the catastrophic conditions that prevailed on the following day.

The New South Wales Rural Fire Service reported that the fire damaged approximately 5,700 kilometres of fencing, and killed 2,000 sheep, 56 cattle, 90 goats, 26 dogs and cats, 36 poultry and three alpacas. The fire destroyed 35 homes, one church, one community hall and 131 outbuildings. A further 11 homes and 42 outbuildings were damaged.


NSW Rural Fire Service - Sir Ivan Fire - Simon Archer

"I hope I never stand in from of a fire like that again...the only reason I knew the truck hadn't burnt to the ground was that water was still coming out of the hose"

This except is taken from a New South Wales Rural Fire Service resource that captures volunteer stories from the Sir Ivan Fire. Despite some of the worst fire conditions ever recorded in New South Wales, firefighters and the community saved 80 homes and 125 outbuildings.


Sir Ivan Fire - Nine News coverage

"A catastrophic combination and a state in uncharted territory..."




This incident was included in the Major Incidents Report 2016-17 (Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience, 2017). The report acknowledges the following sources:

ABC News, 'Carwoola fire: Firefighters contain blaze but 11 homes destroyed," 19 February 2017. At:
Bureau of Meteorology 2017, Special Climate Statement 61 — exceptional heat in southeast Australia in early 2017. At:
New South Wales Rural Fire Service 2017, 'Assessment of last week's fire affected areas completed,' media release, 18 February 2017. At:
New South Wales Rural Fire Service 2017, 'Initial assessment of Carwoola fire affected area,' media release, 18 February 2017. At:
New South Wales Rural Fire Service 2017, 'Bush fire season draws to a close,' media release, 31 March 2017. At: