Close call for Garvoc family

22 Mar, 2018 04:00 AM
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It shows the dairy industry was still strong in supporting each other.

Richard Christison and his family were at home when the fire swept towards their house, buildings and livestock on Saturday night.

He sharefarms a 250-cow herd for John McConnell near Garvoc, south of Terang.

He said there was little warning of the pending threat with the first warning coming at around 10.30pm on Saturday night.

Mr Christison said they were extremely lucky to not sustain damage to buildings or the herd when a slight wind change “half way up the drive” turned the fire away.

He said his wife and children had taken shelter at the owner’s house, while he set about trying to protect the property.

He did manage to extinguish running grass fires with a tractor and plough that threw dirt onto the flames.

He said they had lost paddock feed, stored fodder and fences as well as losing power.

The biggest problem and concern for many farmers was the damage to boundary fencing to contain livestock.

There was an urgent need for people to begin helping to rebuild fencing and for feed.

While the power did go off during the fire, they could still milk using a tractor power source.

Mr Christison said a big worry when the power went off was the impact on the internet signal delivering emergency messages to those in affected areas.

But thankfully the mobile phone could still receive phone messages.

“The CFA couldn’t have done any more," he said.

"Locals walked away from their own farms to save other people’s property.

“It shows the dairy industry was still strong in supporting each other.”

StockLand

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