Tough times continue for Sir Ivan bushfire victims

Reality has set in hard for those affected by the Sir Ivan Fire and some are questioning whether they will be financially capable of getting through the recovery process, according to Dunedoo’s CWA president.

Joy Beames, who is also co-ordinating the organisation’s bushfire appeal, said donations that were flowing in helped to lift spirits but for some, it might not be enough.

“It’s a struggle and you can see the struggle happening a bit more now than you could two or three weeks after the fire,” Ms Beames said.

“The mood is basically pretty good but reality has hit and some of them are starting to think ‘should we stay? Should we go? How are we financially going to get out of this?’.”

The CWA have been one of the largest contributors to the volunteer organisation Blazeaid, that is helping to rebuild thousands of kilometres of fencing destroyed by the fire.

Ms Beames said to date more than $220,000 that had been donated to the CWA’s bushfire appeal had been passed on to Blazeaid.

Just last week the Orana RFS donated $11,000 and the Rotary Club of Dubbo South and Dubbo musicians donated $5300 to the Dunedoo CWA with that money also set to go to Blazeaid.

With an estimated 5300 kilometres of fencing burnt out by the fires, it could take years to get everything back to normal. 

Blazeaid has focused on rebuilding property fences that run alongside roads because they are the most expensive for landholders to replace.

“If you have a boundary fence between two neighbours, you pay half of the costs but if your fence is on the road, there is noone to share the cost with and you pay the lot,” Ms Beames said.

“One farmer said to me he had to get his stock home that had been on agistment because the people needed their land back. But they have no internal fences so that makes it impossible to keep their stock separate.”​

Ms Beames said it was important that those affected weren’t forgotten about and the assistance continued to come but she said the help received so far had been amazing.

“It’s mind blowing where money is coming from and the support we are receiving across the state and even interstate,” she said.

“It’s hard to express as a community how lucky we are to have the support of so many.”