City's heart helps fighters

BENDIGO'S Emily Batterham felt helpless when she sat in her air-conditioned house as Victoria's firefighters braved blistering conditions on the front line. 

Bendigo woman calls for help, community backs her mission

Before long, Ms Batterham was scrolling social media websites, figuring out how she could assist. 

Ms Batterham called for support on a Bendigo Facebook site, asking people to donate water, fresh fruit and non-perishable goods. 

It didn't take long before her boot was full of food - which she last night delivered herself to the Seymour relief centre and Wallan staging area. 

She said it was heartening to see the community band together to help others. 

"It's what Bendigo is all about, with our huge hearts always wanting to help," she said. 

She said it was impossible to imagine what the firefighters were experiencing.

"We all complain about these 40 degree days but these firefighters are battling it out in conditions hotter than 70 degrees," she said. 

"I was sitting at home and thinking, surely I can help them and it seems lots of other people wanted to help too.

"They just needed the chance."

Police Chief Commissioner Ken Lay has confirmed 34 residential properties have been destroyed since Friday and police are still investigating the possible loss of another 20 homes.

Fire Services Commissioner Craig Lapsley said the blaze that started at the weekend had been difficult to control.

It burnt across vast plains of grassland where it threatened urban housing estates, and over hills as it spread north and through bushland.

Firefighters continue to battle active fires across the state , which is why Ms Batterham plans to make another food run to Donnybrook next week. 

"We know these goods will help so much. I'm happy to drive back there again if they need more things," she said. 

Friends Adrienne Bermingham and Melissa Ford have also pitched in to help. 

"Everyone appreciates what the firefighters are doing to save all these towns," Ms Bermingham said. 

"And we are not helpless. This just proves we can all help, no matter how far away we are."

People can find out how to assist at www.cfa.vic.gov.au

This just proves we can all help, no matter how far away we are. - Adrienne Bermingham

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