KANGAROO Island native Brendon Lade has returned to the place he called home for 16 years in the wake of the devastating Christmas bushfires that saw him and his family evacuated. 

The St Kilda assistant coach, Saints captain Jarryn Geary, and mature-age draftee Matt Parker travelled to the region on Tuesday to visit locals touched by the recent tragedy.

  • COMING SOON The Saints' tour of Kangaroo Island will be captured on video by AFL Media 

The trio will hold a training session, visit the Western Districts Saints Football Club, which was badly affected by the fires, and simply be on hand to listen to the stories of those who witnessed the devastation first hand.

Dynamic forward Matthew Parker and Brendon Lade on Kangaroo Island. Picture: AFL Media

The local club is one of five on the island and was founded 50 years ago by the cousin of St Kilda premiership player and former coach Darrel Baldock.

The devastating inferno that raged across the festive season scorched the Saints' oval and decimated their sports complex and clubrooms. Decades of memorabilia and records were destroyed. 

  • COMING SOON The Saints' tour of Kangaroo Island will be captured on video by AFL Media 

Lade played for Western Districts for three years from 1987 and holidays on the island every Christmas.  

He was at his cousin's Emu Bay home on the north coast in the New Year when ash and smoke began to thicken, forcing them to flee on January 6.

 "I didn't think it was going to get to us when it was 20 to 30km away from where we were staying," Lade told AFL.com.au.

"But the wind was going straight towards us and my wife and my little fella were a bit frightened and not sure what was going on so we made the call to go up to my aunty's house in Kingscote and we stayed there.

"There were 30 of us in a two-bedroom house, which was interesting. There wasn't much sleep; I was in the car and people slept in corridors and my aunty gave up her bed and slept in the laundry.

They're a strong community. They'll bounce back pretty quick

- Brendon Lade

 "It was a bit hairy for us but nowhere near as hairy as it was for other people on the island." 

One of Lade's cousins lost 400 sheep, 60km of fencing and 80 per cent of his farm.

  • COMING SOON The Saints' tour of Kangaroo Island will be captured on video by AFL Media 

Nearly half of Kangaroo Island burned in the fires, which started on December 20. 

The Saints have also teamed up with their apparel partner ISC and major partner Pepper Money to donate a full set of jumpers to Western Districts.

The local club's very first set of jumpers in 1970 was organised through the relative of Baldock.

Lade, Geary and Parker landed on the island on Tuesday morning.  

St Kilda captain Jarryn Geary on Kangaroo Island. Picture: AFL Media

"We'll go and hear their stories. Some of them will just want to talk," Lade said.

"The challenge will be in six to 12 months' time when everyone has forgotten about them.

"But they're a strong community. They'll bounce back pretty quick."