What's the best way to give support during bushfires? NSW RFS says thanks but no more food

NSW RFS volunteers keeping watch. Photo: Sylvia Liber
NSW RFS volunteers keeping watch. Photo: Sylvia Liber

Donations of money are the best way to help respond to the bushfire crisis that has destroyed homes across the nation, the NSW Rural Fire Service has said.

The fire service's NSW South Coast team has been overwhelmed with generous donations and it has no more room for donated food and goods.

NSW RFS spokesman Greg Allan said it had been amazing to see the generosity of people in response to the fires hitting communities across the state.

Donors wishing to help people affected by bushfires, or to give to Rural Fire Service brigades, could best provide support by donating money, he said.

This allowed people to buy the things they needed, and it supported local businesses which had also been impacted, he said.

"There really is no more room to put donated goods," Mr Allan said.

The NSW RFS said while people wanted to donate physical items, such as food and clothing, these took up much-needed community space.

It directed donors to funds set up to support people affected by bushfires, including appeals started by the Australian Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and St Vincent de Paul.

Donors wanting to support the NSW RFS can make their donations at the fire service's website, where they can also give money to their local brigades.

Blazeaid and RSPCA NSW are also accepting donations to respond to the destruction caused by bushfires.

The devastation to towns and villages across Australia has led to an outpouring of global and national support for bushfire fighting and recovery efforts, including from international celebrities and through a social media campaign started by Australian comedian Celeste Barber raising more than $30 million.

NSW RFS commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons described responses to the crisis as "extraordinary and extremely generous" on Monday.

"It's people wanting to do their bit to support people in a desperate time of need and I think it's a beautiful signal of humanity and those very public fundraising programs reflect an extraordinary generosity," he said.

Mr Fitzsimmons said the fire service would consult with members and make sure it understood donors' wishes before spending the money.

"We will need to target the money into where people intended it to go. And we need to make sure that we get something tangible, that we get some real benefit out of this and we don't want to lose sight of the fact that that extraordinary generosity will make a massive difference and the figures that we're talking about are absolutely enormous."