BlazeAid volunteers reach 85 kilometre mark

DAMAGE: An estimated 6000 kilometres of fencing was damaged and destroyed by the Sir Ivan fire in February. BlazeAid volunteers continue to reestablish fence lines. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE
DAMAGE: An estimated 6000 kilometres of fencing was damaged and destroyed by the Sir Ivan fire in February. BlazeAid volunteers continue to reestablish fence lines. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

Fence lines across the Warrumbungle Shire are gradually being pieced back together after around 6000 kilometres were destroyed by fire in February. 

A wholehearted effort by BlazeAid vounteers has resulted in the removal of 191 kilometres of damaged fencing. A further 85 kilometres of fencing has been installed as of Sunday, April 2.

BlazeAid coordinator for Dunedoo, Laurie Dawson, said the project is progressing well and one property has even been completed.

“There’s another couple that are virtually done but not quite yet,” Laurie said. “Everything’s going fine and we’re working flat out.” 

Laurie said the atmosphere on properties is slightly more hopeful. 

“They can see the light at the end of the tunnel I think, but there’s still an awful long way to go,” he said.

“Some people carry things better than others, that’s a fact of life, so even if they get their fences back they’ve still got all the stock they’ve lost.

“Some people have lost 90 per cent of their breeding stock and they’ve got to start all over again, so the fences are just one thing.”

Regardless, the need for fencing is essential across the 55,000 hectares ravaged by the Sir Ivan fire between February 12 and March 7. 

Desperation to lend a hand remains vibrant at Dunedoo despite a slight decrease of volunteers ahead of the Easter period.

“They dropped off a bit late last week and over the weekend have started to pick up a bit and we have about 60 here at the moment,” he said.

“I think it’s a lot of the grandparents have to go back for school holidays and want to get back home, get organised before the kids arrived.”

Laurie encourages those interested in volunteering to give 24 hours notice by calling him on 0418 349 317.

The need for fencing materials remains paramount despite a steady flow of donations.

Laurie said wire and star pickets are of particular demand.

“We’re going to be pushing for materials until the day we leave,” he said.

“The reality is there’s just so much needed.

“When you've got $15-$20 million dollars worth of fencing, half a million doesn’t go very far at all.”

BlazeAid administrator, Heather Willis, thanked individuals and businesses from Dubbo and surrounds for their ongoing generosity.

“We’ve had a lot of donations from Dubbo store holders such as Ramiens Timber Company, LNH Auslec, Cartridge World, Talbragar Street Newsagency, Australia Post, Reward Hospitality and Chemist Outlet,” she said.

“There’s a lot of support happening, but the way it is there’s a hell of a lot more that needs to be done.”

To donate materials to BlazeAid, contact Heather on 0407 789 366.