After suffering four years of drought, Wairewa was badly impacted by the catastrophic fire event on 31 December 2019.
The firestorm that blasted through the community resulted in many losses. 11 homes, hundreds of head of stock, and millions of dollars of farm infrastructure and equipment were destroyed.
Most frighteningly, 30 people sheltered in the Wairewa Hall that night while the fire burned just metres away. With the mains power failing and affecting the activation of the water pump, the CFA teams set off their hoses. This prevented a potential tragedy and saved their lives and the hall.
Immediately, post-bushfire, the hall became a community relief centre. The hall was utilised by the community as donors and agencies arrived to assist.
Thanks to the generous donors of the Victorian Bushfire Appeal, a $151,645 grant will fund important safety upgrades to the Wairewa Hall.
The project includes:
- A fully installed bushfire attack sprinkler system to protect the hall and evacuees in the future;
- A covered BBQ area with wheelchair access; and
- A toilet upgrade to allow for disability access with showers in case of emergency evacuations/burns injuries
Upgrades to the hall will provide a greater community confidence and resilience knowing that, in event of another disaster, the hall is a safer place in an emergency.