Nimmitabel homes spared, but stock losses could cut deep
Residents and the RFS on sight at the major bushfire on Mount Forest Road near Cooma, on Tuesday January 8. Photo: Jay Cronan
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Hopes are building in Nimmitabel as owners return to their properties to discover their homes have been spared.
But reports are emerging of devastating livestock losses, with some property owners reportedly losing hundreds of cattle and sheep.
Yalgatta resident Rhonda McCarthy waits on instructions from the RFS after she was evacuated from her home on Tuesday. Photo: Jay Cronan
Fire had torn through about 9431 hectares of land south of Cooma by 4pm on Wednesday, forcing people out of their homes and reducing properties to blackened earth and bare trees
Rhonda McCarthy and her husband Chris fled their Kybeyan Road to a safe house on Tuesday afternoon and faced an anxious wait as the wall of fire bore down on pine forest next to the property they have lived in for 30 years.
But Mrs McCarthy returned to the home with her daughter on Tuesday evening to discover the house still standing and her pets, sheep and cattle spared.
Yarrabin Fire burning out of control near Cooma
Residents and RSF on sight of a major bushfire on Mount Forest Road near Cooma. January 8, 2013. Photo: Jay Cronan
“The first thing I saw was the cats running around, which was such a relief” she said.
“Our property’s fine.
“We have been extremely fortunate.”
Mrs McCarthy said her husband had stayed with water tankers near the main evacuation point in Nandawal overnight.
She said she had not heard of any homes being lost but residents were only just starting to return to their properties.
“I can see one neighbour’s farm from here and it’s fine but I can’t see further because the hills are still on fire – that was all we could see all night.”
Although her sheep and cattle had been spared, Mrs McCarthy said her neighbours were not so fortunate and were returning home to discover devastating stock losses.
She said one neighbour had lost hundreds of sheep and cattle – nearly all of the stock on their farm.
“It’s not looking good,” she said.
“It’s going to be devastating today.
“There’s another fellow near us and we don’t know how he’s fared either, but he had sheep and cattle as well.
“I’d say there would be a lot of stock loss or injured ones who have to be put down as well this morning.
“They’ve saved their houses but this is their livelihood.”