During the 2019–2020 bushfire season, the Deer Vale community was partly impacted and faced many months being threatened with imminent fire. The Deer Vale Rural Fire Service worked tirelessly trying to keep the fire to the south side of Waterfall Way, to eliminate spread into the Deer Vale village area and have it impact on areas closer to the township of Dorrigo.
Due to the continuity of threat, many residents feel disconnected and unable to express the fear they felt, and it has become apparent at local gatherings this is at the forefront of their minds, reliving their thoughts of that time as to whether their properties, loved ones and animals were safe.
The Deer Vale and Beyond Drop In Centre has been borne from acknowledging community need. The centre will provide a safe space for community members to gather each week where they can enjoy a cuppa and tell of their experiences, through storytelling and art expression. Simple refreshments will be provided, as will art supplies.
The Deer Vale Rural Fire Service will conduct a series of workshops on making properties safer in the event of bushfire on some of the drop in days. It is hoped that through this initiative the Deer Vale community will become more socially connected and resilient.