A "tsunami of donations" prompted by the Green Wattle Creek bushfire created difficult circumstances for councils and volunteers.
Wollondilly Shire Council local recovery coordinator Ally Dench spoke about this issue at a hearing for the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements on Wednesday, June 24.
Ms Dench said while communities were generous in their support, the amount of donations presented challenges.
"A lot of our families had lost Christmas presents. There was a big outpouring of donations of toys and goods," Ms Dench said.
"We're very appreciative of the amount of support that was given but it created a tsunami of donations that was very difficult to manage."
Ms Dench praised members of the Country Women's Association (CWA) and the Buxton Rural Fire Service, who sorted through a large amount of donations.
"They actually had seven shipping containers donated down at [Balmoral and Buxton halls] to put all of the donations into," she said.
"It has since been distributed and we've also distributed to other [fire-impacted] areas across the state."
The partnership between Wingecarribee Shire Council and Wollondilly Shire Council during the bushfires was also mentioned.
Ms Dench said the councils worked "collaboratively" during the immediate recovery effort.
"We worked very closely with Wingecarribee Council, providing mentoring, support and guidance," she said.
"Particularly in relation to donations, the removal of rubbish and trees on joint arterial roads, and we jointly supported the recovery hub that was located at Balmoral.
"It was a great, successful collaboration with Wingecarribee and a great demonstration of how local government does work together."