In the wake of bushfire devastation across Victoria and NSW, Corowa locals have opened their hearts, cupboards and purses to support fire-stricken communities in the region.
The community effort comes as at least 21 people are now known to have died in one of Australia’s most devastating bushfire seasons yet, and there are growing fears the toll could rise with officials in Victoria saying six people were missing in the state.
The devastation has seen half a billion animals and over 2,000 homes perish in the calamitous wildfires.
Noah Little of the Corowa Baptist Church said the impact of the fires, had been “devastating”, and as a result the church started a collection last Thursday for people to come and donate items to help those affected in the region.
“We were looking for something to do and someone shared the Lavington RFS post and from that we decided we were going to support that as a church and open it up to the community,” Mr Little said.
“We were overwhelmed with the response from the community. We’ve literally filled up us much space as we can take.
“From pensioners bringing in a few items to people doing a grocery shop of hundreds of dollars to donate – it’s been mindblowing.”
Anything from supermarket vouchers, clothes, toiletries, food, shoes and water bottles were donated.
BB Freight took the items across to the Lavington RFS on Friday, which was set to then be taken to the firefighters and communities affected by the fires in the Upper Murray region.
Corowa Bush Furniture have been picking up generous donations from across Corowa such as Waldron’s Fresh on River, Civic Café and delivering them to fire effected communities.
Corowa Bush Furniture have made donation drops that have reach places such as Wangaratta, Holbrook, Lankeys Creek, Jingelic, Wodonga, Wagga Wagga and Talangatta.
Local firefighters have also been working indefatigably to assist with the fires. Fire and Rescue NSW Station 268 Corowa have been on the frontlines in Talbingo.
Station Captain said on Saturday that his crew was battling a “large fire-front” around the town.
“We saved the Snowy Hydro Tumut 3 then rushed into town but got caught in a fire storm and activated our crew protection and carried out our safety drills until it passed,” he said.
“We then continued into Talbingo and first saved the local servo and now we are putting out houses.
“All the locals are safe and have evacuated to a safe position.”
Rutherglen CFA have also been deployed ot the frontline, as properties were razed in Cudgewa, Corryong and other areas of the Upper Murray region.
With unabating hot temperatures set for later this week, firefighters will be continuing the long and arduous battle of trying to contain the fires across the region.