The next morning, our neighbour called to say he could see a green roof!! We couldn't believe it. Our house had miraculously survived. Well it wasn't a complete miracle. Ross had always been concerned about the possibility of fire and had kept the small lawn in front of the house short and well watered in the summer. And we always kept stock to keep the grass down in the paddocks close to the house. Plus Ross had trimmed the branches on the large trees behind our house to about 7 ft high and had cleared all the debris from under them. As Ross' father used to say, 'the harder you work, the luckier you get'. It was sobering to see the scorched ground under those trees and realize that if Ross hadn't done that clearing, they probably all would have gone up in the fire and then the house. The fire came within 6 ft of our house at one corner and about 10 ft at another. Here's a drone photo showing how lucky we are to have our house. Over 100 of our 117 acres burned.
We spent the next 2 days putting out residual fires around the property with backpacks of water plus some help from volunteer firefighters. Most of the pipes from our two 30,000L water tanks burned so the tanks were empty the next morning. But all that water leaking out must have helped put out the fire.
We lost four sheds, most of our fencing, two heifers and only about 1/3 or so of our vegetable gardens in the fire. Our three lambs survived as did all of our chickens - thank heaven for that huge chook palace all covered in roofing iron! Our old cow Milkshake turned up two days after the fire looking pretty bad but with some fresh hay and water she started to perk up. And after about a week, she wandered over to our neighbour's bull (the fences were burned and not much of a barrier) so she must have been recovered enough to answer nature's call!
|Our lemon tree!|
|My friend Rosemary helping with planting|
|Digger driver putting in concrete (non-flammable!!) poles for retaining wall|
|Grass growing along creek|