On numbers alone, BlazeAid has made a significant contribution to the Snowy Monaro’s bushfire recovery effort.
The volunteer-based organisation has cleared more than 100km of damaged fences and constructed close to 90km of new fencing throughout the region.
With camps set up in Bombala and Bredbo (later moving to Numeralla), the organisation has worked alongside bushfire affected landholders for more than three months.
For the landholders who have benefited from BlazeAid’s support, the organisation has lived up to its motto – not just rebuilding fences, but helping rebuild lives.
BlazeAid’s Bredbo/Numeralla camp has bid the region farewell following the completion of their final project last week. The group leaves behind a legacy that stretches beyond the fence post.
In the weeks following the bushfire emergency, the Crowe family from Countengany were one of about 60 families who received assistance through the BlazeAid Bredbo/Numeralla camp.
“We are extremely grateful to have worked alongside BlazeAid. They’ve become part of the family and the community through their hard work and willingness to help where needed,” Bushfire affected landholder Jeff Crowe said.
The 40km of new fencing constructed in the areas of Bumbalong, Badja, Colinton, Countegany, Jerangle, Peak View, Numeralla and Michelago will long be a reminder of BlazeAid’s efforts.
BlazeAid Bredbo/Numeralla camp coordinator Dee Murdoch has played an important role in the region’s bushfire recovery. Dee arrived in the region late February and in the weeks and months that followed she has laughed, cried and become a friend to the landholders she has met.
“Every property owner we deal with has a backstory. They are getting over bushfires while battling drought,” Dee said.
“When we start working with people who have been affected by natural disasters they often say they are still in a fog and unsure of the road ahead.
“Once we send a team to their property and start work, they become more optimistic. You see a smile on their face and their ability to get up and keep going.”
When reflecting on the camp’s stay in Bredbo and then Numeralla, Dee says the region will be fondly remembered.
“This area has a special place in our hearts. The community has been absolutely amazing, we have really enjoyed our time here,” Dee said.
“We have really felt a part of the community. People recognise our loan vehicle from High Country Automotive and our orange vests, and when they see us they beep their horns.”
While BlazeAid’s presence in the Bredbo and Numeralla areas has drawn to a close, the organisation is continuing with work in the areas of Bombala, Creewah and Rockton.
Snowy Monaro Regional Council Mayor Peter Beer has praised the efforts of BlazeAid’s Bombala and Bredbo/Numeralla camps.
“All the volunteers working hard across our region have done an outstanding job helping affected property owners recover from the devastating fires,” Mayor Beer said.
“Both the Bombala camp and the Bredbo/Numeralla camp have made a long-lasting contribution to the Snowy Monaro. It’s sad to farewell the Bredbo/Numeralla volunteers but we are very appreciative for all they have done.”