COMMUNITY-minded Portlander Keith McMillan has extended a welcoming hand to one Gippsland resident and is encouraging everyone to follow his example.
Fires have been burning in the Gippsland area since mid-January, forcing many from their homes and preventing some from returning.
About three weeks ago, a fire started at the Hazelton coal mine, and now a plume of toxic smoke, containing carbon monoxide, is gradually settling over Morwell.
For the retired Mr McMillan, who followed developments on the radio, his spirit reached out to the residents of the area and so has his hand.
In a letter written early last week, Mr McMillan has offered to pay for the respite of an individual, couple or family from Gippsland who journeys to Portland “until the air be clear and safe to return to your home”.
After writing and sending the letter to the Portland Observer, Mr McMillan heard his sentiments echoed in an offer from Premier Denis Napthine, who opened his Port Fairy home to Morwell residents in need of fresh air.
Read more in Monday’s Portland Observer.