Selfless volunteers lend a helping hand during the bushfire emergency

Vital assistance: Salvation Army Emergency Services teams have been providing meals and essential items to volunteers and firefighters. Photo: Supplied.
Vital assistance: Salvation Army Emergency Services teams have been providing meals and essential items to volunteers and firefighters. Photo: Supplied.

The New Year has started with heartbreak as the lives of many Australians are impacted by the devastating fires across the country.

What is normally a time of jubilation is instead challenging with firefighters and volunteers risking their safety on the front-line.

The Salvation Army Emergency Services (SAES) teams remain active at multiple locations across the country, providing immediate emotional, spiritual and material support to firefighters, volunteers and evacuees.

To date, teams have been called out to 135 official operations, served at 160 evacuation centres and provided more than 123,000 meals across the country.

More than 3000 volunteers have been working between four and eight hour shifts to support the efforts.

Australian strategic emergency and disaster management specialist, Captain Robert Champion, said the Salvos volunteers were "amazing".

"Our volunteers are at most of those sites providing mattresses, bedding and personal hygiene items, but some had to be evacuated because it wasn't safe to be there," he said.

"Our catering trucks are currently serving front-line emergency services personnel across the country.

"Our volunteers have been working very hard, with round-the-clock rosters."

To donate to the Disaster Appeal and support those affected by the fires, visit the Salvation Army website, call 13 72 58 or head to the checkout at any Woolworths or Salvos stores.