THE Hills Hoist is still there but the oranges on the surrounding trees have been scorched.
All that remains of the family home where Vincent Morrissey grew up with four siblings is the chimney stack.
Other residents of were returning to similar desolation on Wednesday night after the town's Timor Road, described by the Rural Fire Service spokesman Alex Chesser as ''a moonscape'', was opened up to locals to inspect their properties.
Mr Morrissey 53, checked his 100 head of Hereford cross cattle on Sunday evening and left knowing there was nothing more he could do.
That night he watched from a nearby hill as fire swept over the 700-metre-high Charlie's Mountain and into the two kilometre-wide Yearinan valley. While Mr Morrissey didn't see his house consumed by flames, the black smoke billowing over the hilltops had him fearing the worst.
On Wednesday after the road reopened, he picked his way around the smoking remains of his property, cautious that asbestos may be the latest hazard he needs to confront.
''It will be a specialist job with protective equipment to clean up,'' he said. ''People need to realise asbestos was used quite a lot to build some of the houses around here.''
He added philosophically: ''Nothing that man makes lasts forever, not even the pyramids will last forever.''
Just down the road is a similar scene, where the home of Veronica Mackay and her partner David Maslen had a small car recovery yard and a few animals.
An acrid smell emanated from a still-burning heap of pig food, the same flames that claimed 10 of their pigs and the three-bedroom property.
''It was called Rainbow's End but it isn't any more,'' Ms Mackay said. ''That was the laundry and that was my herb garden and those were my mandarin trees. We had the best mandarins in the district.''
She added: ''We got a call from the fire service that said 'If you thought you were going to stay, don't. Evacuate now.' It was a recorded message. I was quite shocked. I thought they would have used a real person.''
One theory, supported by the Rural Fire Service, is that the inferno was started by lightning.
For the time being, the town of Coonabarabran is fully occupied with the industry of fighting fires and helping those left with nothing. More than 40 properties have been lost and 185 have registered at the evacuation centre at the bowling club.
Some 200 firefighters are here in 60 fire trucks from throughout the state. Twenty aircraft are in use to try to halt the advance of the fire front, which extends for 158 kilometres. A tent city has grown on the racecourse capable of housing 400 firefighters.
Each tent can house some 30 fire crew in airconditioned respite from their campaign.
There is some good news, however. Temperatures that were expected to reach the low 40s on Thursday and Friday are now predicted to be in the mid-30s. There is also hope that the fire will now be contained within the next 24 hours.
The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, is expected to visit the town on Thursday.
Correction: The caption to the original version of this story said Vincent Morrissey's home was in Timor Road, Coonabarabran. In fact it was in Morrisseys Lane. The error occurred during the production process.