A Port Lincoln postie is making a special delivery of donated hay to fire victims in the Adelaide Hills this weekend.

Key points:

  • Postie Karen Milne will take up to 220 bales of hay to fire victims in the Adelaide Hills
  • Community members have donated cash for her to give to those in need
  • She helped farmers with feed after the Wangary bushfires in 2005 that claimed nine lives and burnt 93 homes and 80,000 hectares

Karen Milnes has filled her horse truck with hay bales and, with friend Grace Kemp, will drop them off to property owners affected by the Adelaide Hills fires that burnt two houses and 2,500 hectares last weekend.

Other Eyre Peninsula farmers have donated hay for her to deliver and two local businesses have donated the use of a tarpaulin to cover the hay and fuel for the trip.

She was motivated to do something due to her experiences with the Black Tuesday Wangary bushfire on the Eyre Peninsula in 2005 that killed nine people and burnt 93 homes and 80,000 hectares.

While a wind change saved her property, she saw the devastation the fire caused and how the most effective aid was to act immediately.

Ms Milnes says people on her postie round were handing her $50 notes as donations.(ABC News: Jodie Hamilton)

“After the Wangary fire, my friend and I went out that afternoon and … we just dropped off hay in the middle of the paddock and moved on to the next place, and we figured that then the animals would at least stay on property,” she said.

“We saw the difference it made.

“I remember … some men came over from Kangaroo Island and they had a fence up within about 10 hours of the fire going through and I just thought that was the most amazing thing in the world.

She said people were suspicious of where donations ended up.

“You want to help, but you don’t want to go through all the government authorities because they make it hard for the people who are receiving it,” Ms Milnes said.

“And look what happened last year when the [NSW Rural Fire Service] got all that money that was supposed to go to people.

“So I just thought, ‘Righto, the best way for me to help is to go over and go to a gate and look at a place that’s been burnt down and drive in and deliver [the hay].'”

Both women were motivated to help after Eyre Peninsula locals were affected by the Black Tuesday Wangary bushfire in 2005.(ABC News: Evelyn Leckie)

Community donations

Ms Milnes said people on her postie round were handing $50 notes to her without asking for a receipt. She said they had so much trust that she would do the right thing.

“They’re just saying, ‘Hey Karen, we hear you’re doing a trip to Adelaide to help out the fire victims, here’s $50, here’s $20, I’ll drop $50 off to your work’.

“Whereas this year I thought, ‘I can. I’ve got the hay there, I’ve got a truck — let’s do a roadie.

“And then I went, ‘Does anyone else want to help out?’ and everyone was like, ‘Yeah, yeah, we want to help out’. How amazing’s that?”