A resident of an ecological village near Denmark is using her artistic talents to raise money for the victims of this month’s bushfire after she was forced to flee from the inferno. Jenelle Piercey had been snorkelling at Greens Pool on the morning of Friday, February 4, when she emerged from the crystal clear water to see dark smoke billowing from the forest. The bushfire that started that morning doubled in size on Friday night and put the entire town of Denmark under threat the next day. Four homes were destroyed in the blaze. Remarkably, volunteer firefighters and residents saved every home at The Wolery, an ecological community established more than 40 years ago 13km west of the Denmark townsite. Ms Piercy has lived at The Wolery for 11 years and said she had “never known a bushfire like this one”. “I came out (of the water) and saw the smoke, I thought ‘that looks pretty close to where we live’ and I looked on Emergency WA and we were in the amber zone,” she said. “I got a phone call from my hubby and I said ‘I’m coming home’. “We raced around grabbing important documents and whatever we needed to evacuate, packed the cars and headed to my parents place.” The next morning Ms Piercey’s husband got into his firefighting gear and headed back to The Wolery prepared for the fight of his life. Ms Piercey, who evacuated with her two small children to Emu Point, said six other residents also stayed back to help defend the community. “It’s hard knowing that good friends and neighbours are fighting and risking lives to protect the property and your home,” she said. “It’s hard being away from that.” The mother of two praised firefighters and fellow residents for their efforts in saving The Wolery. “We’re very lucky, on The Wolery we are planned for bushfires, we have large dams and fire units,” she said. “As it’s so well set up, it’s a safe place to fight from as well.” Ms Piercy said there were up to 15 fire trucks on the property with water bombers joining the fight from the sky. “For the people who stayed it was pretty scary,” Ms Piercey said. “It’s hard, knowing the people you love are there defending and you don’t know if they will be OK or not.” In the aftermath, hearing of the people who had lost their homes, Ms Piercey said she felt compelled to help in whatever way she could. A watercolour artist, Ms Piercey decided to set up a fundraiser selling her artwork, with funds donated to residents in need. With about $1000 already raised, Ms Piercey said she would donate the money to the Denmark CRC and Denmark Community Foundation who will distribute it to the people worst hit by the fire. Almost two weeks on from the ordeal, Ms Piercey said the community was exhausted. “Everyone’s emotionally and physically drained, we’ve hit exhaustion,” she said. “It still smells of smoke, there is black bush everywhere and it’s dusty, we can’t get anything clean and we’re not sure if we can our drink rainwater or not.” “But we’ve learnt just how resilient we can be. “When you have to pull together like that, it really builds relationships in a much deeper and stronger way so there are positives out of this in that the community is stronger.” Ms Piercey said she would sell her artwork for the cause until February 22. For details, text 0481 776 627.