NSW Bushfire Update
18 October 2013
Doyalson RSL Evacuation Centre opened at 7pm last night and served 500 people for dinner until about 3am. Blankets and pillows were provided to 100 people and 200 people stayed the night in the evacuation centre. A number of people are staying in the evacuation centre simply because roads are blocked and they cannot get home.
Over the past 24 hours, 17 Salvation Army volunteers have assisted and were back at 6am serving breakfast for 200 people, leaving at 11am. The Salvation Army left behind food, to be distributed as needed and are on standby if they are needed again.
The Salvation Army’s Lieutenant Vanessa Hunt, who was helping at the Doyalson Evacuation Centre, shares: “People just wanted to get home. There were lots of people crowded around TV’s watching the news updates just hoping they didn’t see footage of their own home up in flames.”
Newcastle and Central New South Wales
The centre in Finnan Park, Raymond Terrace is providing for firefighters and combat services with six Salvation Army volunteers booked here until next Tuesday.
An evacuation centre has opened at the Swansea RSL this morning, and there are also evacuation centres operating at King Park, Raymond Terrace and in Denman, in the Muswellbrook area.
“The combating agencies are tired, but they are glad that The Salvation Army are there to help them,” says Hans Schryver, who is the Newcastle & Central New South Wales Emergency Services Divisional Co-ordinator.
Greater Western Sydney
Teams from the Salvos are providing food, refreshments and comfort to firefighters and evacuated victims with around 30-40 people on the ground. In the weeks to come we will change from evacuation mode to recovery mode.
Most people have been sent home now with about 20 people still at the local club (The Lithgow Workmens Club), with whom The Salvation Army are partnering to provide support to victims. Two small communities, Clarence and Dargan are still unsafe and people cannot return to their homes. A number of elderly folk have left behind their pets and are concerned about when they can go home and if their home will be there.
The Salvation Army are providing tea and coffee, and a shoulder to cry on at this point in time. Over 70 people came through the doors last night.
Two Salvos are assisting the victims in Lithgow at the moment. Lions Clubs and other local churches are feeding the firefighters with over 200 firefighters in this area.
At this point no houses have been lost but a few industrial businesses have been lost to the fires.