Livestock lost in bushfire

Livestock lost in bushfire

21 February 2013

published by

Australia — BANYULE Mayor Wayne Phillips is counting the cost of the bushfires that hit Melbourne’s northern suburbs, losing up to several thousands head of lifestock.

Cr Phillips was notified about the fire in Wollert just five hours before he was due to chair a council meeting on Monday, forcing him to spend the night battling the blaze on the almost 200ha property.

The father of four said the fire had left him with a damage bill of more than $500,000 and at least 500 of 4500 goats dead with a further 2000 missing, and two horses and a cow also killed.

A farmhouse on the property, which Cr Phillips has owned for 26 years, was not affected.

“I just got through on the Hume Freeway just before they started blocking off the road and when I arrived there were 20ft (6m) flames,” Cr Phillips said.

“By 3am it was under control and I was just trying to put out spotfires.

“It was scary because it was very black and smoky and you lose the perspective of where you are.”

He said he was helped by one of his sons and a friend but there was a still a lot of work to, especially repairing fences.

“It’s the worst I’ve ever been involved in,” he said.

“Mentally I’m as flat as a tack, I feel like I’ve just gotten off a big flight.”

The grassfire hit Epping, Wollert, Kalkallo and Donnybrook on Monday.

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