Volunteer-based organisation BlazeAid is helping farmers get back on their feet amidst the devastating bushfires affecting much of Australia’s south east.
has been organising volunteers from all over Australia to assist farmers with
rebuilding fences and clean up their damaged properties as many begin the long
and tedious recovery process.
10 million hectares of land has been destroyed nation-wide with over 5 million
hectares burnt out in New South Wales alone. 19,000 farmers have been affected
by the fires with many needing assistance for fodder, water and rebuilding
founders Kevin and Rhonda Butler started the volunteer driven organisation
after parts of their property were destroyed by the Black Saturday fires in
the Black Saturday fires, February 7, 2009, Rhonda and I lost three kilometres
of fencing, we had a 1000 sheep that were going to get out on the road, like
everyone else,” Mr Butler said.
started fencing, the ground was bloody hard and I thought I’ll never get this
done in six months so I thought I’ll put an ad in the local newspaper and ask
for some volunteers to help us.
“We got 25 volunteers, we assembled them into five teams, and what should have taken six months for me to complete by myself took us just seven days.”
bushfires of the past few months has seen widespread destruction with farmers
losing livestock and experiencing significant property damage.
said the extent of the damage caused by these fires has drawn a lot of interest
with phone calls from all over the country.
is nothing that comes within a bull’s roar of this, nothing,” Mr Butler
currently has 14 base camps set up in bushfire-affected areas across Australia and
are looking to have 40-50 base camps set up over the next few months.
camps will cost $5,000 a week to run with budget constraints a possible concern
for the future.
don’t know if we’re going to get a quarter of a million dollars coming in a
week,” Mr Butler said.
the generosity of people has been enormous, and the government is now being
camps are currently drawing in volunteers from all over Australia with most
sent out to assists farmers with rebuilding fences.