It was a sacrifice that Tony Engel won't soon forget.
The Adjungbilly farmer's property was guaranteed survival when his neighbour - a man whose name he doesn't even know - allowed the Rural Fire Service to burn 180 hectares of farmland on Thursday night.
The scorched-earth operation was conducted to contain the Cobbler Road fire, burning west of Yass.
Firefighters feared the fire could jump the Murrumbidgee River and race into rugged country where it could burn unchecked.
Mr Engel captured the vast backburn as it was lit about 8pm and quickly engulfed the hillside scrub.
The amateur photographer said the fire blazed for three hours before burning itself almost out. The 63-year-old said small pockets continued to smoulder through the night and into Friday, creating a scene both terrifying and beautiful.
The Cobbler Road fire has burnt out almost 14,000 hectares, killing thousands of stock in the process, since it ignited on Tuesday.
Luckily, Mr Engel's 100 black Angus cattle and 1000 Merino sheep were spared from the flames.
His neighbour - who sacrificed his grazing land to the backburning operation - lost thousands of Merinos to the flames.
It's been a harsh welcome to rural life for Mr Engels, a former Sydneysider.
The retired Commonwealth Bank executive has owned his property, Cascade, for eight years but only moved there permanently last year.
Mr Engel joined the Adjungbilly Rural Fire Service brigade and is greatly impressed by the work of firefighters.
''I am absolutely stunned by the co-operation and generous spirit of country folk and the RFS in actively working together against bushfires,'' he said.
''This community, as all rural communities have, have fought fires for many years and have a wealth of on-the-ground experience - especially the fire captain of the Adjungbilly brigade, Bill Kingwell, whose quiet resolve during this fire was very reassuring to my wife and I.''