Red Cross thanks the organisers and patrons of the Falls Festival for their generous support of communities affected by the bushfires on Victoria's surf coast.
Friday January 8, 2016
Burnt Trees along the Great Ocean Road. Photo courtesy of ABC
The Falls Festival, held in Lorne at the end of December, helped raise $137,000 through ticket sales and collections to support communities affected by the Surf Coast fires.
"We are enormously grateful for the support of everyone who has made a contribution to help communities affected by the fires. Sadly 116 houses were lost in Wye River and Separation Creek and whole communities were evacuated," said Angela Sutherland, Red Cross Victorian Emergency Services Manager.
"From Christmas Day Red Cross volunteers were on the ground, providing urgently needed support and advice for people who were evacuated from their homes. Volunteers also supported people as they began the difficult task of returning to their properties to inspect the damage in the days after the fires."
Red Cross has commenced talking to local shire representatives and others involved in community recovery planning about how funds raised through Falls Festival can best help the community, and will do all we can to ensure this happens as quickly as possible.
With a heat spike expected again in coming days, and with warnings that fires are likely to burn through January and February, it's important that all communities along the Surf Coast and across Victoria remain vigilant and ensure their fire plans are in place.
Red Cross has a range of resources to help people prepare and recover from disasters and emergencies like the Surf Coast fires.