In rural NSW, temperatures are breaking records. The wind is so strong “it’d near blow you backwards”. The smoke is thick and black. The bushfires are fast and unforgiving. They’re also everywhere.
They’ve been called “the worst bushfires NSW has ever seen“. One fire fighter said he’s never seen anything like it in 25 years fighting fires.
Most of the small community of Uarbry – a town near Dunedoo – has been wiped out. People have lost their homes and properties. There are reports of extensive loss of livestock.
“I think dealing with the dead stock or the damaged stock in the first instance is the real heartache,” farmer in Cassilis Tony Hegarty told the ABC. “I remember a farmer who got burnt out many years ago, he just said it took 10 years for the business to recover. That’s the sort of issue we’ll be dealing with I guess”.
People want to help. A GoFundMe page for farmer Warren Jarvis, who lost everything to these fires, has raised almost $5,000 in only three hours.
Money, it seems, is key. After the 2013 bush fires, The Salvation Army released a statement asking for cash donations, as opposed to the donation of goods. "It's too hard to manage warehousing of massive material goods," the statement read. The same is likely the case here.
The firefighting mum whose life is ruled by an excel spreadsheet. Post continues below.
Here are some ways you can help:
You can donate to Disaster Relief and Recovery at Red Cross here.
You can support the people rendered homeless by the fires with donations to The Salvos here.
If you see a wildlife in distress in the heat, call the NSW Wildlife Information, Rescue & Education Service (WIRES) on 1300 094 737. You can also donate to WIRES here.
Also, keep an eye out on GoFundMe for more crowdfunding opportunities.