Central Coast Bushfire forces WIRES wildlife carer out of her home

Saturday, October 19, 2013

A bushfire in Chain Valley Bay last Thursday 17 Oct left WIRES member Julie Allan with no option but to flee her home with an entire human and animal entourage in tow - with 5 children, her elderly mother and father, 4 domestic pets and a brushtail possum all in the car together.

Julie was forced to make the heartbreaking decision to leave 3 stronger possums behind believing that her home would survive and that they would cope better with the stress of the situation than the weaker one. “I couldn’t fit everybody into the car – I had all my children, my mother and father, 3 pet chihuahua’s, my cat and my little brushtail possum with me. I had to make a decision quickly as the fire was getting closer. It was awful. I rang a friend from WIRES and cried on the phone to her because I simply couldn’t get them in there with everyone else.”

“I have 2 brushtail possums, 2 ringtail possums and a magpie in care and wildlife means the world to me. I was devastated to leave any of them behind.”

The unlikely convoy stayed the night at Doyalson RSL where they were looked after very well by various charities and the RSL staff. The area in Chain Valley Bay where Julie’s house is located was deemed safe to return to on Friday morning and so the entire family and all the animals headed back home.

But within half an hour of returning home Julie got the news that the wind change was once again pushing fire her way. “By this time it was too late to leave the area so we just had to sit tight and stay in the house. The fire reached to our back fence and if the NSW Rural fire service hadn’t acted quickly and water bombed the area and our neighbours with hoses helping us I don’t like to think what would have happened. Luckily all was well and we will all live another day to care for each other and our native animals “

WIRES General Manager Leanne Taylor said “ The nature of bushfires are so unpredictable and the devastation which follows is heartbreaking. Over the last few days all of the WIRES volunteers in the fire areas have been on standby to get on to fire grounds so that they can help as many animals as possible. We are now beginning to take animals in to care. Some of our members have been affected quite severely with their homes being impacted in the Central Coast and the Blue Mountains.”

If you find a native animal in distress or need any advice or help please call WIRES on 13000 WIRES (1300 094 737)

WIRES is a registered charity and relies heavily on donations from the general public at these times more than ever

Donations to our Bushfire appeal can be made online at www.wires.org.au or by phoning (02) 8977 3396

Media Contact: WIRES (02) 8977 3327

Media Email: [email protected]

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