International visitors help with bushfire clean-up

International visitors help with bushfire clean-up

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ON DECK: East Gippsland farmers Jodie Wood and Rohan Williams (left and right) with German tourists Melina Heyink, Belinda Zuhlke and Lydia Saerchinger who are helping clean up fire-ravaged properties in Victoria's east.

ON DECK: East Gippsland farmers Jodie Wood and Rohan Williams (left and right) with German tourists Melina Heyink, Belinda Zuhlke and Lydia Saerchinger who are helping clean up fire-ravaged properties in Victoria's east.

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International visitors are helping farmers with the clean-up in East Gippsland.

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International tourists are travelling to fire-ravaged communities to lend a hand to farmers two months after fires crippled East Gippsland.

Farmers at Clifton Creek, a community near Bairnsdale which lost five houses and the town's primary school, have been inundated with offers of support following a call out on social media.

Clifton Creek resident Jodie Wood said three women visiting from Germany were the latest to travel to East Gippsland from Melbourne to offer their support.

"They had got into Melbourne and stayed in the same hostel as a Canadian arborist who had stayed up in East Gippsland on the Australia Day long weekend," Ms Wood said.

"After chatting for a while, they didn't have plans so the girls called me to find out what was happening in Clifton Creek and since then they've worked on pulling down fencing, they've helped with the erection of new fencing, they've worked on chainsawing the debris on fence lines and run new electric fences."

Domestic visitors from as far as Queensland have travelled to the tight-knit community to lend a helping hand, many of them without a background or qualification in agriculture.

"One of the girls from Germany works in an office, the other has just left school going into an apprenticeship and the other did a short farm stay on a property Ireland," Ms Wood said.

"Most of the local farmers and landholders have been shocked by the support that's come; we've had a lot of women involved."

Ms Wood said the women had also done odd jobs for people in need including cleaning and gardening and had tidied up the local hall, tennis courts and recreation reserve.

"We removed nine kilometres of fencing and then rerected new fencing on the three biggest farms at Clifton Creek ... we could've done more but we ran out of fencing supplies to keep going," Ms Wood said.

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