As promised, part 2 of my Pablog exclusive: Axel's narrow escape (check out yesterday's post if you missed part 1):
Nonno quickly got us out of there, but there was no other free road, so we had to go back home. We didn’t have much time, so it was back to the dam next to the vineyard where we held our last stand. We were all ready with blankets to jump into the dam if need be. With pumps and hoses going, we were not only able to save ourselves, but also the vineyard, sheds, equipment and house too!! The paddocks and fences and all that was in them are gone though.
Daddy tried to get up to us, but was blocked at every road in by the police. He knows the area well, and found a forestry road in, but was stopped only a few km’s away by burning trees on the road!! He had to go back home, not knowing what happened to us. It was all ok for us though, he came the next morning with Aunty Gianna, and helped out with the initial cleanup. The goats survived too. We lost a lot, but nothing compared to so many in our area and the rest of fire zone. The danger hadn’t passed though, it was days until all the spot fires were out, and the threat of another big fire was real. So the fire fighters charged though the properties putting in fire breaks with bulldozers and were backburning.
I hope that the pictures tell a better story then I have. As they say, a picture tells a thousand words.
As heartbreaking as it was for all this to happen, and what is still happening, it’s also heartwarming too!! Within hours, the reports of property loss and the death toll was being fed to us. But also as fast was news about the support and relief efforts! Every imaginable thing has been thought of and supplied to everyone affected by the fires. Even cat food!! You see, even though our property and house may not have been burnt down, there are still a lot of other long-term problems to be fixed. Ash and silt are everywhere!! All food and water is contaminated, the house needs to be washed down, inside and out. The animals now have to be hand fed, as there is literally no grass left. And the cleanup effort will take months to finish. I normally like a nice dead animal to play with. But there are so many around – wombats, kangaroo’s, possums, rabbits, deer, as well as livestock– that the stench is unbearable in this heat.
But the main thing is we’re all ok. A lot of the neighbours were not so lucky, losing a lot or everything. And it has brought the community, and Australia, together!! I am so proud to be an Australian!! Even though there are a few sick people taking advantage of the generosity, we are, as a whole, the lucky country. And Daddy says from now on he will chew the head off any hippy who whinges about the nation!!
With love and purrs, Axel. Full-time Farm Supervisor and part-time Tiger.
A goat in one of the fields that was saved from the fire... you can see how dry the countryside was before the fires!
Manny and Butch posing in front of the damaged farmland. Even in times of crisis, Manny is a poser (!)
What an amazing story! Thanks so much for sharing it with us, Axel and Manny. By the way, if you want to give financial support to those who need help after these awful fires, you can go to the links I posted in my post last Tuesday.
P.S. Kate's a little bit worried about what will happen next time she sees Manny, as she may well be one of the 'hippies who whinge about the nation' that he was talking about!!