Residents of a small Upper Murray community remember when their latest campaign for better firefighting equipment began.
"While the fires were still going," James Paton said.
The founder of Thowgla Valley Fire Brigade said Black Summer highlighted the area's lack of infrastructure when it came to tackling such blazes.
Not being part of a Country Fire Authority brigade, neighbouring farmers banded together to protect homes and livelihoods as best they could using their own equipment, like trucks and utes with slip-on firefighting units, tractors and pumps.
"In the end, I started this group up and a few things to try and get funding to actually buy our own gear so we can be more self-sustainable," Mr Paton said.
Donations from companies, groups and individuals well beyond the valley supported the fledgling brigade.
Albury Wodonga Motorcycle Enthusiasts Club gave $4500 after ride director Stuart McLean told fellow members about Thowgla Valley's plight.
IN OTHER NEWS:
With family links to the area, Mr McLean had known how the community fought the 2019/20 bushfires.
"A lot of the farmers got together up there and did a fantastic job, they didn't really have anything organised at that stage," he said.
The motorcyclists' gift went towards three portable quick-fill pump units to improve the brigade's access to water, which Mr Paton called "the biggest issue".
"Trying to have the water close by to reduce the time frame of actual fighting on the front to come back to fill up," he said.
"Because if it's too long, the fire just starts up again."
A community gathering held earlier this month allowed residents and AWMEC members to see the new pumps and stand pipes in action.
Mr McLean said nearly 20 club members attended and all were pleased to see the results of their donation.
"Everyone said on a personal basis this is probably one of the most heartwarming things that we've done," he said.
"They were all affected by it, they spoke to some of the local farmers, like, there was a bloke there who's lost his house and everything."
Mr Paton said the brigade had good community backing and about 20 people keen to be active members.
"Be part of a brigade to try and help each other," he said.
"There's a lot of support to get something to happen, it's just trying to get everyone on board and all the other parties coming in.
"Ideally we're just going to keep on trying to get more access to equipment to the community.
"The consensus of the valley is they want to be fire ready and prepared."
- More information on the brigade's Facebook page
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: