There was never any way Brett Povey was going to leave as a fire burned closer towards his family's property just off the Monaro Highway at Colinton.
"We've been here for 100 years, we don't plan on getting burnt out now," he said.
He told the State Emergency Service, who called in on Friday, he was not going anywhere. About 80 per cent of his neighbours, many of them on hobby farms, had packed up and left.
The farm has been in the family since Mr Povey's grandfather, Victor, a WWI veteran, built the homestead in 1921 on a soldier settler book.
Mr Povey's father, Colin, sat on the verandah on Saturday morning as the sky darkened. In all his years on the property, he had never seen fires like this. The fires in 2003 were stopped at the ACT border.
About 11am, on the ridge above the farm the Clear Range fire started to sweep down the valley towards the Murrumbidgee River.
"This is getting pretty serious," Mr Povey said, looking at the flames in the company of his wife, Sally.
"It's time to put some jeans on."
Mr Povey said the last time the farm had decent rainfall was last February and last year saw only half the average yearly amount fall.
With two units on the property, Mr Povey was not worried about defending the home.
"You sit here, there's a million bucks worth of assets sitting here in sheds and other house, that sort of thing. You look after that and that's that."
Besides, he said, you would not want to lose everything to a small ember with the potential to set off a big, uncontrollable blaze.
"There was a bit of bark that wide and that long yesterday afternoon, something like that starts a fire. If you're here, you put it out. If you're not here, you could lose the f***king lot because something like that," he said.
It has already been a long fire season for the Povey family, seeing friends lose everything in fires on the South Coast.
"I do a bit of stock and station agent work and one of my mates got burnt out at Cobargo. So I had to go down and help him. He'd lost a wool shed, house, fences, yards. We had to get sheep off the place for him," Mr Povey said.
Their one-year-old daughter Chelsea had been playing in their garden, looking up into the smoky sky as helicopters roared seemingly invisibly overhead.
Mrs Povey planned to leave with Chelsea towards Cooma, or maybe Canberra, depending where the highway was cut.
But after the family went up the hill behind their house and sheds, it became clear they could not head south. A spot fire had started right near the Monaro Highway, south of their driveway.
It set off a long day for Mr Povey. The back of his property burned out as the flames licked over the ridge. The house and the sheds were all safe.
Mrs Povey and Chelsea managed to get out before the roads closed, Mr Povey said.
At the end of the day, a crew of neighbours and friends reconvened at the Poveys' verandah, taking stock of what they had done.
Over a few beers, carefully brought in before any roads had been cut in the days leading up to the fire, the informal brigade agreed they had seen fires pretty bad before, but this had probably been the worst.
Sunday could still bring anything, Mr Povey said.
"I don't know what's going to happen," he said.