Months of work ahead for BlazeAid

BLAZEAID volunteers will be working for months to repair rural fencing lost in the Macedon Ranges and Mitchell shire fires.

There is a huge amount of work…we will be here for months. - Lyn Bailey

BlazeAid member Lyn Bailey, who has been in Wandong setting up a new BlazeAid basecamp there, said yesterday it was terrific to have 24 volunteers on the first day of the new basecamp.

But they had a “huge task” ahead to replace the many hundreds of kilometres of rural fences burnt, she said.

“There is a huge amount of work…we will be here for months.”

Fencing on more than 100 small and large properties had been burnt in the Wandong area, Ms Bailey said.

Local residents, volunteers from Melbourne and retirees are among those who have set up camp at Wandong in motorhomes, caravans and tents to join BlazeAid in the recovery effort.

More volunteers were needed, Ms Bailey said, and they did not need any experience or to do heavy work.

”Basically anyone willing to learn on the job – it’s not all heavy digging.

"We have a lot of ladies out on the fencelines running wires.”

Ms Bailey said people with trucks to transport hay were also needed.

“We have had donations of hay which is great, but we don’t have any transport to get it here,” she said.

“If anyone is able to help it would be really appreciated.”

Victorian Farmers Federation said the response to the VFF’s call for hay donations had been very good and they were continuing to take donations until March 11.

But fire-affected farmers needed to know how much hay they needed, he said, as some were underestimating the amount required.

Anyone with spare fodder that they’re willing to donate can contact the VFF on 1300 882 833.

Fencing suppliers in the Macedon Ranges have had a sharp spike in demand after the fires.

Elders Kyneton branch manager Luke Brown said it was the busiest the agent had been for rural  fencing supplies since Black Saturday - possibly busier – delivering to Gisborne, Riddells Creek and Mickleham.

CRT Kyneton manager Grant Pritchard said there was more demand than usual for rural fencing supplies and expected that to increase as farmers’ insurance claims were settled in coming weeks.

Frosts Sawmill Timber and Building Supplies at Monegeetta said they had ordered in more posts to keep up with demand.

Anyone who can volunteer with BlazeAid to fix fences or to transport hay can contact Lyn on 0400 833 262 or Kevin Butler on 0418 530 471.

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