A fundraising effort for the Bawley Point and Kioloa firefighters has wildly exceeded the $5000 goal by reaching almost $45,000 in just three days.
Organiser Sandy Betts, a Bawley Point resident, said it was amazing to see such generosity of spirit in light of such devastation.
"We have all felt that this is at least one way we can honour the heroic efforts and relentless fighting spirit of the firefighters who are working around the clock to save lives and homes," Ms Betts said.
The money was going directly to the local firefighters, she said, including immediate emergency supplies like eye drops, breathing masks, ventolin, throat lozenges and food. The balance of the fundraising efforts would be directed to whatever the Rural Fire Service at Bawley Point and Kioloa needed to get through the next few weeks, the coming summer and beyond.
Highways and roads surrounding the towns are cut, meaning the supplies are being received from boats on the water.
Ms Betts's home was the focal point on national news bulletins on Thursday night as the Currowan fire reached emergency level. She had evacuated and was watching the situation from afar.
She said flames 30 metres high were threatening her property, and at one stage it was reported her house had burnt down.
"Everything on the property was lost but the house is still standing by an incredible miracle," Ms Betts said.
"The heroic efforts of local firefighters, neighbours and helicopters saved our homes, against all odds, and at high risk," she said.
"It is a selflessness I am struggling to put words to, to describe the depths of our gratitude."
The fundraising idea came to Ms Betts as she was evacuating. Then on Friday morning her neighbour, Liza Butler, who is co-organising the fundraiser, called to say she was at the fire shed, the roads were closed and they were desperate for food and supplies for the firefighters.
Ms Butler said they realised the firefighters were short on equipment and they had lost two radios worth about $1500 each in the chaos. She was concerned that they would also have to replace uniforms and hoses which can cost them personally.
Ms Betts said she and Ms Butler initially organised a few friends to chip in.
"Then I set up the GoFundMe page, I've never set one up before but I figured it out quickly," Ms Betts said.
She was staggered by the response.
One person, who donated $250, paid tribute to the firefighting efforts.
"Thanks to all the firefighters and everyone helping out! My parents don't have their place at Bawley any more but we all have 40-plus years of good memories and hope to be visiting again soon."
Ms Betts said they are deeply grateful for the contributions.
"To see such generosity of spirit is clearly evidence that the area, and the community of Kioloa and Bawley Point, are loved by many."
- with Milton Ulladulla Times