Western Australian communities are rallying to help residents who have lost homes or been evacuated from devastating fires that have ripped through the town of Yarloop, south of Perth.
An emergency warning remains in place for several other Western Australian towns, including Preston Beach, Harvey, and Waroona.
But with reports much of the town has been destroyed and with hundreds evacuated from Yarloop and Harvey, residents have been benefiting from the kindness of strangers.
Many Western Australian residents are posting offers for beds, food, and clothes online.
Others are pledging to donate to assist those who have lost homes, possessions, or property.
“I am so sorry for your loss. I do not know how you move on from this but I am certain there will be lots of help out there for you to navigate through this horrendous situation you find yourself in. Many of us will donate as much as we can,” Joy Devenish said on Facebook.
As details on what has happened in these small towns remains limited, local residents are turning to social media and community paper Facebook pages to share information and remain up-to-date.
Others are offering up their land to help house horses, pets, and other livestock placed at risk as the fires tear through paddocks and farmland.
The WA Equine Emergency Facebook group is collecting some of these offers.
“I'm in Pinjarra and have paddocks and stables too, as well as beds and can also have other animals,” Jay Delaney wrote on the page.
“I can be a bushfire buddy, can take at least 10 horses in a single paddock. We are in Hopeland and require a buddy who can accommodate stallions if necessary,” Fiona Wood-Ainslie wrote.
In November, Western Australia showed its support for victims of a bushfire in Esperance that burnt through hundreds of thousands of hectares of land and killed four people. Businesses and organisations offered donations, counselling, and support for firefighters.
People who want to help the victims of the Waroona bushfire can donate to the Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery fund.
The Southbound festival has been cancelled due to the safety risk posed by the fire but festival organisers are working to let ticketholders donate part or all of their ticket refund to fire victims.
We’ve been overwhelmed with the support shown over the last 11 hours since our announcement that Southbound 2016 has had to be cancelled due to high fire risk within the area. We’ve had a lot of feedback regarding patrons wanting to donate both part or their entire ticket refund to those affected by the fire. We are currently working to set up a system where this can be facilitated. We have excess food on site which we will be offering to those who are both working to fight the fires and affected and currently working with the relevant parties to make this happen. We’ll keep you updated as we work on both of these initiatives. We are gutted but trying to turn our disappointment in not being able to deliver Southbound to you into a positive thing for those affected by the fires.
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