BlazeAid raring to go

BlazeAid has arrived at Bookham and will soon be offering support to fire-stricken farmers.

In an attempt to ease the stress local farmers now face as a result of the Cobbler Road fire, BlazeAid volunteers will offer practical assistance.

In a spirit of cooperation, the organisation will straddle both Harden and Yass Valley shires.

The not-for-profit organisation will focus much of its attention on repairing fences that were destroyed during the disaster, and they have invited the wider community to lend a helping hand.

“The fire should not go from being a huge public issue to a private issue. All should be concerned with giving these poor, unfortunate people a hand,” BlazeAid president Kevin Butler told the Tribune.

“It’s a great way for people to help those who have been dealt natures hand.”

Mr Butler is expecting up to 1200 BlazeAid volunteers to help out over a three to six-month period, with some volunteers staying a couple of weeks and some staying much longer. He estimates there is between $750,000 and $1 million worth of damage.

On Monday night around 120 people turned out to Bookham Recreational Grounds for a community barbecue.

Three BlazeAid volunteer coordinators also went along to meet farmers and those involved in recovery efforts.

Dick Kerrin, DPI rural support worker, explained that the barbecue was funded through the DPI’s Rural Support Program, supported by Yass Rotary.

“It was a tremendous community response last night.

“There was lots of socialising. People were talking about what happened and where they were going from there.”

He said there were still people lingering to chat at 9pm that evening, long after the sun had set.

“My perspective is that these sort of things help to create a social space where people can connect and see that there are people willing to help, from various agencies.”

He said another community barbecue could be organised by DPI in the future if warranted.

“We will respond to the community’s needs. Whether or not we do that again is dependent on what the community needs.”

More information about what the organisation plan to do here.

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