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Blazing a trail of aid

Blaze Aid in Mundubbera was three hours old when this photo was taken. Founder Kevin Butler is in town to train local interim coordinator Vikki Kelly and is confident the Mundubbera operation will run like a dream as it is in Monto.
Blaze Aid in Mundubbera was three hours old when this photo was taken. Founder Kevin Butler is in town to train local interim coordinator Vikki Kelly and is confident the Mundubbera operation will run like a dream as it is in Monto. Sue Harris

BLAZE Aid is well and truly an active part of the North Burnett.

The volunteer organisation has proven its effectiveness across Australia and is now assisting rural families, farmers and communities to get productive again.

While most of its volunteers have traditionally been grey nomads, it is hoped the volunteer base will expand for this region to include coastal and city people.

Blaze Aid co-founder Kevin Butler is in Mundubbera for a few days training interim volunteer coordinator and dairy farmer Vikki Kelly.

"North Burnett Regional Council has been amazing, especially Pascal," Mr Butler said.

While the council has been collecting information to get a handle on the needs of the community - economic, infrastructure, environment and human and social recovery - the more than 70 registrations of need for assistance will be given to Blaze Aid.

Veteran volunteer Don Brooks spoke of the organisation's work at a well attended Mundubbera meeting last Thursday.

"Blaze Aid wants to be able to talk directly with rural people," Mr Brooks said.

"If you embrace the concept of Blaze Aid you won't regret it.

"When the volunteers you've requested turn up at your place, you are the boss."

While boundary fences will be a priority job, volunteers will also help clean up and repair irrigation and other infrastructure in damaged lucerne farms and orchards.

"Farmers are asked to give an estimated date when they'll be ready to have the help of volunteers who'll work shoulder to shoulder with them on their farm," Mr Butler said.

"Anyone who is able to volunteer is welcome to turn up at the old Lindsay Rural shed (the red shed) at 7am."

Members of service or church groups and anyone who is fit and able to assist is welcome to join the Blaze Aid group based in Mundubbera.

But they are also working from Eidsvold to Gayndah.

Volunteers provide their own transport and Blaze Aid has its own insurance. Blaze Aid provides breakfast for volunteers, land owners supply lunch and the community supplies the evening meal.

At Biggenden's Blaze Aid meeting on Tuesday afternoon, the mood was positive. Cr Lofty Wendt said Biggenden rural landowners would receive a flyer in their mail highlighting the proposal.

"Their input on how much destruction they have will help us build our case to get them into our community," he said.

To register your need, phone 0418 180 688.  


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