NATHAN Rogers has seen the last minute rush to save pets and livestock as bushfires loom too many times.
The former firefighter says older people, those with disabilities and with injuries and the seriously ill are too often left scrambling to find helpers as the fire moves in.
"A lot of this is done on the spur of the moment, on the run. A fire starts, evacuations begin and all of a sudden people are like 'ah, someone needs help'," Mr Rogers said.
"There's examples of people taking advantage of that, trying to charge people money or looting houses."
Well-meaning people may also lack the training to help certain animals, Mr Rogers said.
"If we had teams there already, evacuations would be a hell of a lot easier," he said.
"And if the teams knew about something like the code red day we had a few weeks ago they could begin moving in the days before."
Mr Rogers is CEO of the Kangaroo Flat-based Bushfire Foundation, which helps vulnerable groups prepare in case of disaster and to recover afterwards.
He hopes to bring five to 10 people together before February, when a lack of rain and stiff northerly winds traditionally leaves the bush at its most dangerous.
"Even if they were based around here in Bendigo they could respond into outlying areas, if people were interested," Mr Rogers said.
"We are trying to bridge the gap and have a structured format with volunteers who can do that role.
"The aim is to one-day go national, but if there are locals who might be interested we would want to trial it."
Such a trial could depend on whether the state is hit by major bushfires this season.
"Obviously, no-one wants that, but if Victoria goes the same way New South Wales has we would want to see how it goes and it would be good to hear from people who might have had experiences handling animals," Mr Rogers said.
There were 110 bush and grass fires burning across NSW at 7am Wednesday morning, the Rural Fire Service said in a Facebook post. Forty-five were still to be contained.
The Bushfire Foundation has just accepted two pet food donations from Bendigo groups to help people recovering from the blazes.
The Bendigo Obedience Dog Club donated an estimated $500 worth of cat, dog and animal food as well as a kennel, leads and collars, Mr Rogers said.
Farm supplies company CEPA donated about 40 bags of dog food, among other items.
"We will take that to New South Wales in two weeks when we take part in recovery work and distribute it," Mr Rogers said.
"We will be helping with site clearing, and doing things like, potentially, fixing fences."
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