This past week hasn't been one of the better ones. Its been one of high stress, many phone calls, many miles driven. Not much sleep. Focusing on one thing, and one thing only, and the rest just had to wait.
You may recall we that last week we managed to block a fire in our neighbours place, and all was well with the world. That fire wandered its way through the hills in the days following, and with some nice, gale force breezes, sent it scooting to the north, until a wind change saw it coming back around to threaten our other boundary.
Monday night was a turning point. We (using the term loosely, of course!!) probably could have saved a lot of country and man hours and sleep by putting in a break that night. Conditions were perfect. This, however, did not happen.
Tuesday morning things were not looking so great. The wind had changed again, and there was a lot of hurrying around getting breaks and trying to formulate a plan. By Tuesday afternoon, the fire had come across our northern boundary. Extra hands were brought in, and a fire break was burnt from one of our paddocks in an attempt to preserve the rest. Tuesday was one of many many phone calls received and made, passing along messages, finding more men and directing them to the right place.
2am Wednesday morning, after getting home and to bed around 1am from taking food to the troops, I received a call from our neighbour, who had been reporting back to me throughout the day as she assisted in putting in the breaks. The fire had raced away (causing quite some pandemonium at the time, and coming close to taking out men and machinery) and she reported with despair, that they had little chance of stopping it. For a few panicked moments, she thought that both of our husbands had been caught in the blaze as they had been working together further along.
5am Wednesday morning, after the fire had gone the best way through our property, I rallied fresh troops to the scene. By midday, with the establishment of fresh fire breaks and more than enough man power to establish and control the breaks - and a drop in the wind to allow for perfect conditions for burning back - it was under control, finally.
We've lost about 2/3 of our grazing land. The newspaper reports that a fire had destroyed "forest and grasslands" but no property was threatened. The newspaper doesn't realise that IS our property, cows can't eat burned grass. However, with the help of many great people and wonderful neighbours, the fire has been stopped in its tracks and we have been offered a paddock (one that was saved) next door that we can use, which will take the grazing pressure off the remaining pastures on our property.
Anyhow, back to reality and focusing on the wider world again!