BlazeAid ready to help KI farmers with rebuild

BlazeAid ready to help KI farmers with rebuild

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BlazeAid plans to have a base up and running in Parndana by next week, or earlier, weather permitting.

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ON SITE: BlazeAid was already operating on Kangaroo Island following fires late last month.

ON SITE: BlazeAid was already operating on Kangaroo Island following fires late last month.

BLAZEAID plans to have a base up and running in Parndana by next week, or earlier, weather permitting.

The volunteer organisation provides labour assistance to rural landholders to help rebuild fences after natural disasters.

With the fire front still a threat to the area, BlazeAid coordinators are waiting on the CFS incident controller to give the go ahead before officially opening the base.

The organisation is taking registrations regardless, with more than 30 landholders already applying for assistance at a recovery meeting in Parndana on Monday.

Also in attendance was new local recovery coordinator Mike Williams, who will work with KI local Jennifer Trethewey to support the community with their recovery needs.

Mr Williams is a National Parks and Wildlife Service executive director, with expertise in fire management.

BlazeAid crews were already on the island following fires the previous week, but BlazeAid coordinator John Anderson said they would not start operating again until the fire ground was deemed safe.

"We still encourage people to register for help or register to volunteer so we can hit the ground running," he said.

"But farmers won't miss out if they don't register now. This BlazeAid base camp will probably be here for the next six months."

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BlazeAid coordinators Greg and Ann Stevens will manage the base full-time.

The couple has spent the past two months at the Yorketown/Edithburgh fire ground, where up to 160 kilometres of fencing was removed and so far 25km replaced, with at least another month of rebuild to go.

Mr Stevens expected the KI task to be about five times as big.

More than 100 volunteers and some contractors were on standby to help.

Mr Stevens reiterated that BlazeAid does not supply all the fencing material.

"We work with property owners and their materials, helping them to remove and then replace fences," he said.

"In some cases we can provide some materials, subject to our funding, which is 100 per cent from donations.

"But we strongly encourage people to donate materials to local farmers."

BlazeAid has also set-up a base at Lobethal to help those affected by the Cudlee Creek fire.

Coordinators expect volunteers to be out on the ground by Friday.

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