“BlazeAid work on the principle of mates helping mates, just ordinary Aussies out there helping ordinary Aussies.”
That is how Dunedoo BlazeAid coordinator, Laurie Dawson, explained the work being conducted by volunteers east of Dunedoo this week.
Up to 30 volunteers from all over Australia arrived in Dunedoo on Monday to assist fire-stricken property owners as they begin to rebuild a fortnight after the Sir Ivan Fire.
The Vietnam veteran is among the group of people giving up their time to help farmers rip out and repair the estimated 6000 kilometres of fencing that was damaged or destroyed.
“It’s just absolutely devastating,” Mr Dawson said.
“Property owners have lost fencing, houses, stock, machinery, equipment...it’s a total wipe-out.
“I’ve never seen anything this large.”
Mr Dawson said the degree of the fire was so extreme that two BlazeAid bases have been established in order to cover the area.
It is expected the project – relying solely on volunteers – will take up to six months to complete.
“There’s a positive aspect to this sort of negative thing, it comes out in community spirit,” Mr Dawson said.
“It’s been great, the local community has supported us 100 per cent, they’ve gone over and above to support us.
“Local property owners are very receptive to what we have to offer which is basically volunteer labor.
“We don’t have the resources to supply materials, a lot is donated and we help distribute that as equitably as we can.”
Mr Dawson hopes to encourage potential volunteers to lend a hand. He said no skills are needed.
“All that’s needed is 24 hours notice and we supply all equipment and food for volunteers,” he said. “Give us a ring on 0418 349 317.”