Counting the cost of the Sir Ivan fire | Photos

Counting the cost of the Sir Ivan fire


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The final count of home and stock losses is in.

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IT’S been more than a week since the Sir Ivan fire raged through the Warrumbungle Shire.

But it’s only now the full extent of the destruction has been counted.

The NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) has completed its assessment of the area and has confirmed 35 homes were destroyed, some of which occurred during the catastrophic fire conditions that weekend.

Another 11 homes were damaged, a church and a community hall both destroyed, while 131 outbuildings were also destroyed and another 42 damaged.

Stock losses were also great with the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) reporting approximately 5056 livestock and animals have been confirmed deceased or destroyed, with sheep the highest impacted. 

Another 445 livestock and animals are still missing.

A DPI spokesman said it was estimated at least 138 properties had been partially or totally impacted, with approximately 5700 kilometres of fencing damaged.

“The fires have also caused significant damage to farming equipment and infrastructure, dryland agriculture and rangeland grazing enterprises,” the spokesman said.

DPI and Local Land Services (LLS) veterinary officers and biosecurity staff are on the ground assisting primary producers with animal welfare-related issues. 

While the community is left reeling there has been hope – across the state farmers have banded together to share what they could to help those in need.

Hay runs have been organised in double quick time, with hay coming from TamworthCootamundra, the Hunter Valley and further afield.

Appeals were set up to donate money and stock – and people weren’t shy in coming forward to see what they could do.

The Country Women’s Association stepped in with a commitment of up to $50,000 from its Disaster Relief fund, to assist the victims of the Sir Ivan fire with their immediate needs.

The NSW DPI said primary producers needing assistance with emergency fodder, livestock assessment or emergency stock water should call 1800 814 647.

Eligible primary producers affected by the recent devastating bush fires can now apply for assistance under the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA).

To apply for a concessional loan or freight subsidy, contact the NSW Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593 or visit www.raa.nsw.gov.au

National Australian Bank (NAB), ANZ and Rabobank have also stepped in with various offers.

Farmer searching for missing horses

Ben - one of the missing horses.

Ben - one of the missing horses.

Only four weeks ago, The Land wrote about Rob Lennon and his family's certified organic property “Gundooee”, near Dunedoo.

In the Sir Ivan fire, the property's pastures were completely burned out and, today, Mr Lennon is doing a stock-take of his Wagyu cattle.

Anna - one of Rob Lennon's daughter's missing horses.

Anna - one of Rob Lennon's daughter's missing horses.

"We saved the house and sheds and we think all the cattle but we still aren't sure," Mr Lennon said.

“However, we still don't know where my daughter's two horses - Ben and Anna - are or even if they are dead or alive.

"If anyone knows their whereabouts please call me on 0429 750 350 and we will collect them.

"We are very grateful for all the support we have received which helps us to rebuild what has been destroyed.”

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