11-year-old launches Tasman bushfire art fundraiser

An 11-year-old boy's painting of the Tasman fire which went viral is now being used as a fundraiser for those affected.

The heroic efforts of those involved in fighting the fire inspired Leon Fenemor to create a painting of helicopters dropping monsoon buckets on the blaze.

The image - featuring a Beck Helicopters Huey - went viral, with the artist getting to meet legendary pilot Alan Beck and go for a ride in his helicopter.

Now prints of the painting are being sold to raise funds for those affected.

The picture was shared on Facebook, gaining thousands of likes and hundreds of comments.

Leon's family said they have been overwhelmed, with interest from as far afield as Whangarei and Mosgiel.

"We're so grateful for people's response," said Leon's father Daryl Fenemor. "It has all made our wee man feel very special. We're so pleased we can now use the art to raise money for the real heroes involved."

The family is still to decide exactly where the proceeds will go, and are asking for people to comment on a post on Leon Fenemor's Art Facebook page.

"There are so many local groups that deserve something for all their efforts. We thought we'd ask for help with that tough decision.

Leon's painting went viral on Facebook.
Leon's painting went viral on Facebook. Photo credit: Leon Fenemor

The Nelson Rescue Helicopter and the volunteer firefighters have the front running in the discussion so far."

Local business Speedy Print has got on board to take care of the printing, and the family are grateful for all those offering to help.

Orders are being taken through messages to Leon Fenemor's Art page on Facebook

Prints are $30 and framed prints are $50, plus postage for those unable to pick up in Stoke, Nelson.