Brigid Bates, 39, Batlow, NSW:
How to help
■ Over 130,000 hectares (320,000 acres) were burnt.
■ One death has been recorded.
■ 31 houses and 68 outbuildings were estimated to have been lost.
■ By January 11, three fires had merged, creating a 600,000-hectare 'mega-fire'.
■ STAY: Book a road trip with help from Road Trip For Good. www.roadtripforgood.org.au
■ SPEND: To support locals who have lost their livelihood, buy Batlow apples, Batlow ciders, and other local produce. www.batlowcider.com.au
On the third Saturday of May each year, Batlow's Pioneer Street becomes a party, celebrating the end of the apple harvest at CiderFest. Aussie boutique ciders are on offer and market stalls are filled with loads of locally grown produce. Now, more than ever, Batlow needs other Aussies to visit the town and splash out.
A GoFundMe page has been set up by local woman Sharni, who has raised more than $20,000 to aid the community in rebuilding.
This town built me and I owe it to the community to have a town for the next generation to grow and dream like I was able to do, Sharni writes. Go to: [www.gofundme.com/f/batlow-rebuild]
Donations for Batlow, in the region of Tumut:
■ Name: Community Foundation for Tumut Region
■ BSB: 633000
■ Account No: 141406736