Ovens & Murray Advertiser

Bushfires on minds of many

- By MARK STEPHENS

THE current bushfires are affecting individual­s and communitie­s in many ways and here are brief responses from five well-known Beechworth identities.

BOB BENNETT has been a CFA volunteer for 30 years and has a wealth of experience at Incident Control.

“I am concerned that the public are too complacent,” he said.

“Conditions can change rapidly and everyone needs to have a detailed Bush Fire Emergency Plan.

“It is important to remember to plan for the worst and hope for the best.”

CHRISTINE STEWART worked extensivel­y with recovery programs for regional communitie­s following the 2009 Black Saturday fires and stressed the importance of community support following the fire season.

SAM BUSSELL has been a CFA volunteer for 60 years and is now a part-time profession­al bulldozer spotter and support crew member.

He is full of praise for all who are fighting the fires, especially the Pritchards, ‘ The General’, ‘Beechy’, the ‘Silver Creek Team’ and those from the Chiltern Road.

“The fires in the Ovens Valley pine plantation­s have been fierce,” he said.

“It all depends on the winds... currently Beechworth is okay but we are worried about Bright.”

JIM DIDOLIS, owner of Freeman on Ford B&B said that the fallout from the regional fires has had a devastatin­g effect on the local community and the tourist industry, hitting Beechworth and the region at what is usually the busiest time of the year.

“We are now working hard and hoping for a speedy recovery with a huge traditiona­l Golden Horseshoes Festival at Easter,” he said.

Local musician MEL TOMKINS agreed that we all must be positive and support those in need whilst working towards a rapid recovery.

 ??  ?? CONCERN: Mel Tomkins is concerned about the emotional wellbeing of locals and is planning a great program for the Golden Horseshoes Festival at Easter.
CONCERN: Mel Tomkins is concerned about the emotional wellbeing of locals and is planning a great program for the Golden Horseshoes Festival at Easter.
 ??  ?? HIGH PRAISE: Sam Bussell praises local volunteers and all those who work behind the scenes.
HIGH PRAISE: Sam Bussell praises local volunteers and all those who work behind the scenes.
 ??  ?? THE SHOW MUST GO ON: Jim Didolis works towards bushfire recovery by developing the Golden Horseshoes Festival.
THE SHOW MUST GO ON: Jim Didolis works towards bushfire recovery by developing the Golden Horseshoes Festival.
 ??  ?? WATCH AND ACT: Bob Bennett and Christine Stewart warn against complacenc­y.
WATCH AND ACT: Bob Bennett and Christine Stewart warn against complacenc­y.

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