THE region's Country Authority Fire members have responded to comments earlier this week by Prime Minister Scott Morrison after he said volunteer fire fighters in New South Wales "want to be there."
Reporters raised the topic of the fires with Mr Morrison at a press conference Tuesday afternoon, where he said volunteer fire fighters were well resourced and wanted to be out fighting the mega fires.
Stawell Fire Brigade captain Grant Wells called the comments "ill-informed."
Mr Wells boarded a plane Wednesday afternoon along with 22 other District 16 volunteers to join the effort in New South Wales for the second time. Other local volunteers have made even more trips to help with the effort.
"I think that is maybe not a well informed comment," he said. "I think he hasn't got the full stats from volunteers and what their feelings and their requirements are. I think that's ill-informed."
Mr Wells will be spending three days aiding the fire fighting effort in Batemans Bay.
Read more: Wimmera volunteers join NSW fire effort
"We have 23 people on this strike team who have again given up time with their families to go to New South Wales, and were happy to go back," he said.
"But none of us really want to be there. We do it for the community and we put into the community that we live in and that's part of it, but we also support the greater community ... whether that's Victoria or interstate.
"Do we look forward to doing it? No, not really. It's a necessary evil. We'd rather spend time with our families and our sporting clubs."
The burden is even heavier as the silly season approaches and people want to be home with their families.
"There are going to other guys and girls who do other tours as we get closer to Christmas, so of course it's going to affect them," he said.
Also on his way to Batemans Bay on Tuesday was Stawell volunteer Chris Legassic.
"He's (Scott Morrison) not on the front line," Mr Legassic said. "I'd rather be at home with my family but we want to help the community and do what we do. The New South Wales fireys came down to help us with Black Saturday (so we're helping them)."
District 16 Operations Manager Bernie Fradd is a paid CFA member and he said fire fighters were motivated by their communities.
"The feedback I get from the volunteers is that they volunteer for their communities," he said.
"They don't want to be there, they are there because they are needed.
"If they are never at a fire they would be very happy, but when a fire does happen they are the volunteer service that most of country Victoria does rely on - so they go there and do the work ... but it's not something most of our volunteers look forward to.
"It's a necessary evil if you like. I'd say they'd much rather they had a whole season without going to a fire."
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