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AustralianFarmers

BlazeAid restores hope to farmers

Volunteer-based organisation BlazeAid is helping farmers get back on their feet amidst the devastating bushfires affecting much of Australia’s south east.

BlazeAid 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.

Over 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 fences.

BlazeAid founders Kevin and Rhonda Butler started the volunteer driven organisation after parts of their property were destroyed by the Black Saturday fires in 2009.

“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.

“We 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.”

"Are you ready to get down and dirty with BlazeAid?! Check out the map of our camps and contact our Camp Coordinators to register! https://blazeaid.com.au/map-of-blaizeaid-camps/ "

Posted by BlazeAid on Wednesday, January 22, 2020

The bushfires of the past few months has seen widespread destruction with farmers losing livestock and experiencing significant property damage.

Kevin said the extent of the damage caused by these fires has drawn a lot of interest with phone calls from all over the country.

“There is nothing that comes within a bull’s roar of this, nothing,” Mr Butler said.

BlazeAid 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.

The camps will cost $5,000 a week to run with budget constraints a possible concern for the future.  

“I don’t know if we’re going to get a quarter of a million dollars coming in a week,” Mr Butler said.

“But the generosity of people has been enormous, and the government is now being incredibly helpful.”

BlazeAid camps are currently drawing in volunteers from all over Australia with most sent out to assists farmers with rebuilding fences.

For more information, to donate or volunteer: click here

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