Graziers battling fire for second time in a month
FOR the second time in less than a month, Trevor and Dell Shaw are fighting fires on their property.
The Lefthand Branch graziers last month watched as much of their back-up pastures went up in flames during the bushfire emergency.
Now the opposite side of their property has gone up in flames, leaving the couple to begin recovery efforts all over again.
“It’s just not our luck out here at the moment,” Dell said.
The fire has been burning in the Glen Rock National Park since September, with difficult conditions last week causing the fire to flare up once again.
Following last months blaze tearing through their property, Trevor spent three weeks mending more than 3 kms of fencing damaged by the fire and falling trees.
He’ll be doing all over again soon on the opposite side of his grazing land now.
“We start the same drama all over again,” Trevor said.
“You can hear the trees crashing down, I just hope they’re missing the fences that’s all.”
This time the fire came for closer than the last, and was last night burning about 800m from the Shaws’ home.
However spot fires had got as close as 400m.
While conditions eased momentarily yesterday, fire crews were able to beat back parts of the blaze.
With today’s conditions expected to be worst yet, Trevor was hopeful yesterday’s work would be enough.
“Hopefully the danger will be out of it by then,” he said.
But should the fire flare up again, he wasn’t too concerned – and was ready to stand his ground and defend his home.
“The spray tank has got water in it in case it comes down the hill,” he said.
In a good season the graziers would run more than 80-head of cattle on their land.
Due to the drought, they’ve already cut back their herd numbers.
And with last month’s blaze destroying much of their back up paddocks, and further land lost over the past week, the Shaws may be forced to make further cuts.
“That’s pretty much cleared it all out,” he said.
“We’ll have to work out a game plan after that.”
Despite the hardships, he’s trying to stay positive and laugh in the face of tragedy, dreaming about a few inches of rain falling.