Many in the Keysbrook community are hoping locals will give generously at a special fundraising event next weekend.
Keysbrook Volunteer Bushfire Brigade and the Keysbrook Community Group have joined forces to host a bushfire fundraising event with all funds raised going to help those affected by the fires at Kangaroo Island.
The funds will be given directly to the Kangaroo Island Country Fire Service Group, which represent the Country Fire Services (CFS) brigades on the island.
Keysbrook Volunteer Bushfire Brigade secretary and fire control officer Scott Hambley said a few of the brigade members have connections to people living on Kangaroo Island and felt compelled to help wherever they could.
“We believe that Kangaroo Island will not get as much of the government funding as other places like New South Wales,” he said.
“The settlements on Kangaroo Island are of a similar size and nature to Keysbrook, so we can relate to their personal situation.”
The event will include a number of auctions and raffles as well as a talk from Dr Garnett Hall who has just returned from helping treat many of the sick and injured wildlife on the island.
Dr Hall was deployed to the island through the Australian Army Reserves from January 6 to 13.
His role was to support the local veterinary services to deal with the unfolding disaster.
What he saw will stick with him for the rest of his life.
“Seeing the burnt koalas, especially the baby ones, was very difficult,” he said.
“They didn’t understand what had happened to them and were in pain from their injuries.
“We treated hundreds of injured animals with extensive burns to the hands, faces, mouths and bodies.
“They received anaesthetics so we could treat their injuries and medications to help with the pain and infection.”
The crews on the ground also treated cattle, sheep, kangaroos, wallabies and birds but sadly many of the wounds were too severe and the only option was euthanasia.
Dr Hall said while many of the scenes were apocalyptic, the people of Kangaroo Island and their animals will recover.
“The wildlife park is open again and many beautiful areas were unaffected by fire,” he said.
“I hope that people will make a deliberate choice to visit the island as tourists to support its ongoing recovery.
“They have risen to the challenge to provide ongoing care for the many hundreds of injured animals and I hope people either support them by visiting the park itself or by making a contribution at the upcoming fundraising night.”
The event will be held at Keysbrook Hall at 25 Elliott Road on January 31 from 6pm.
The cost is $15 an adult and $5 for children under 10.
For more information or to donate call Scott on 0417 173 410 or visit the event on Facebook.