Organised by a committed band of senior volunteers from CFA’s Eastern Metropolitan region, the visitors set to work clearing weeds and fixing fences at 8 properties around Wilby, between Yarrawonga and Wangaratta.
Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria District 13 Council President Bill Watson said volunteers east of Melbourne experience the same generosity following the 2009 fires.
“During Black Saturday we were hit pretty hard by the fires we had firefighters come from all over Victoria to help us and it’s one way of returning the favour,” Bill said.
After a hard day’s work on Saturday, the crews joined locals around the camp fire for a roast dinner provided by the renowned caterers from Hoddles Creek CFA.
Accommodation came in the form of a shearing shed and old farm house.
Bill said more trips are planned and urged other CFA members and community groups to pitch in, with the proviso they bring everything they need with them or source it locally so as not to be a drain on the community.
“There’s a lot of work still to be done and I’d urge other volunteer groups to come on board.”
Bill also paid tribute to everyone involved in the organisation of the trip and those who made the journey. He also thanked Wilby locals, including Gus Campbell and his family for their hospitality.