Waroona fire appeal tops $8 million

More than $8 million has been donated to the Waroona and districts fire appeal, Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi said today.

The shires of Waroona and Harvey have been picking up the pieces since a fire swept through the communities in January.

The fire claimed two lives and destroyed most of the town of Yarloop.

Harvey shire president Tania Jackson said the fire had been devastating, and the appeal money from the Lord Mayor’s Distress Relief Fund provided much-needed help.

“It just goes to show how people have felt they needed to assist in the great Australian way of putting their hands up and asking what they can do,” she said.

Ms Jackson said the Shire of Harvey had expected a maximum of $7 million of donations.

Waroona fire recovery coordinator Dave Gossage said the donated money would have a huge impact on the community.

“It’s wonderful because the more that comes in, the more we can help the affected families and the communities on the ground,” he said.

Neighbouring towns such as Cookernup have also contributed to Waroona’s recovery.

Mr Gossage said Waroona residents were making small steps to bring the town back to normality.

“In reality, the recovery process will go on for a couple of years,” he said

“It’s going to take time for people to grieve and go through the varying emotions.

“It’s going to be a long journey.”

The appeal for Waroona and districts is expected to close next month.

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