burnt-fencesSouth Gippslanders are responding to the call for volunteers to clean up and re-erect fencing in the wake of the devastating bushfires in the Heyfield-Maffra areas which have left dozens of local farmers in dire straits.

SOUTH Gippslanders who want to help rebuild fencing and clean-up after the bushfires which ravaged parts of the Heyfield-Maffra area recently simply need to check out the ‘Blazeaid’ website at blazeaid.com.au. There you will find the contact number for Angus Guild, the ‘Camp Coordinator’, the man who is organising the recovery effort on behalf of Blazeaid. Although, by his own admission, arrangements were a bit of a shemozzle last week. “We thought we were ready to go but when people started turning up last week we found out we weren’t,” said Angus in a laconically direct fashion. “But we’ll be ready to go this week and there’s a lot to be done. “I’ve got 30 farms on my books at the moment and one of those properties alone has 50km of fencing to replace. “So I think you could say we’ll be here for a while.” Angus would appreciate a call on his mobile number, 0427 769 973, or the new phone number to be posted on the Blazeaid website soon. “If they give us a call the day before they come we can organise a meal for them and a campsite. We’ll also be able to allocate them to a work team.” But he stressed there was still a need for volunteers, and not just those wanting to re-erect fencing. There are lots of other jobs besides, suitable for people aged from 18 to 80. Already several South Gippslanders, many of them farmers, have answered the call and more are considering going up to Maffra for a few days to offer their time and sweat to a cause that could easily impact them too this summer, or the next. But you don’t have to be a farmer to help. The base for the Blazeaid recovery effort is the Maffra Recreation Reserve where teams will be provisioned and dispatched from and where there are sites for camping and other facilities. The Wellington Shire Council is also assisting with the volunteer recovery effort and can be contacted via their recovery line on 1300 137 218.