Fires in the north of the state have pitched affected land holders into the darkest of droughts just as rains arrived to send some a message of hope.
The Tenterfield district was worst affected, with fires ringing the town mid-week.
Rain arrived in places soon enough to quench paddocks, with steam visible off blackened landscapes from the change in humidity.
However not all areas got the drop, with Tenterfield receiving less than 20mm from the event with the likelihood that feed might not be available in the paddock until after next winter.
Figures from the NSW Department of Primary Industries state 107 requests for assistance at Tenterfield, including 88 requests for fodder, 12 for emergency stock water, four for animal assessment and veterinary assistance and three for stock euthanasia and burial.
For farms around Dairy Mountain, burnt black in 2019 and ready to burn again with so much dead and dry timber, the day of blazes brought back terrible memories from the recent past.
Local Land Services veterinarian and Angus seedstock breeder Lisa Martin, Alumy Creek at Coldawinda, watched the fire lick at the edges of their selling shed before a change sent it roaring over Dairy Mountain.
"We've really dodged a bullet!" she said at the time. But her husband Colin Keevers shook his head and murmured; "The day is not over yet".
Within two hours embers from the fire rained down on their other property to the east at Steinbeck which held 100 stud cows and their calves, some of them ready to ovulate again as they were locked-in to a fixed-time artificial insemination program.
"Fortunately they mustered easily. They were so quiet," said Ms Martin who credited the drought-handling of feed supplements for making the herd used to humans.
On the other side of the New England Highway the Woodside fires affected Inglebrae Farms with half their pasture gone - up to 100pc in places - with loss to commercial cows but not to any of the stud Angus breeders. Kilometres of fences along the east-west Bruxner Highway have been ruined.
"It just ripped through. I've never seen anything like this, said manager Darren Battistuzzi.
Not far to the north the Benn Family at Dalveen, just over the Queensland border, were spared and in gratitude donated Lucerne hay to affected victims - a gesture greatly appreciated.
"It was only because of a change in the wind that it missed us," said Miles Benn, who carts cattle for a lot of those affected.
"My partner's bags were packed and the dogs were set-up. Then it blew back in the opposite direction."
Among the recipients of kindness were David and Prue Bondfield, formerly Palgrove and now back on their home farm Strathgarve at Dalveen.
They have only just begun to breed again, in a smaller way, this time with Angus and Ultrablack with a focus on commercial production.
They were well into their fixed-time artificial insemination program when the fire jumped their fence, but pushed ahead with the AI program regardless.
With part of the team tasked with fighting fires David and Prue got on with the job in the yards - inseminating 75 cows that had already triggered to ovulate at this moment.
Some distance from the actual fire but still blanketed in smoke the cattle sensed an emergency but remained quiet and the job was done with no trouble.
"Then we went on fire patrol," said Mr Bondfield. "After all, farmers are eternal optimists. There's a lot of things that get thrown at you.
"We lost about two-thirds of our country. We had been in a difficult situation with a dry autumn and winter with very little rain. Our feed was carefully managed but had been grazed short - but there was one paddock we had locked-up ready for the next rotation and the fire there was hot."
A remarkable fall of 50mm of rain 24 hours after the blaze quenched black paddocks and within the week new green shoots were visible.
South of Tabulam, where 4633ha burned, the fire consumed fences, paddocks, back-country and a shed and nibbled at crop along Plain Station Road.
Those with grass at the end cheered the weekend fall of more than 70mm of rain, certain to kick-start some sort of summer grazing season.
"We're back in business," said farmer and cattle buyer John Dougherty, who did lose pasture in the event. "We've had good rain and I expect to see the market react."
Donations continue to flow into the fire grounds, with president of the Tenterfield Common trust Paul Carpenter praising businesses that donated fencing and water tanks to repair the common, affected by the Scrub Road blaze, so it can be used for emergency agistment. His own property, meanwhile, "looks like Arizona".
The dedicated volunteer effort Blaze-Aid are ready to open a new camp at Tenterfield as soon as the council allocates space.
Meanwhile local member Janelle Saffin promoted a recent state government grant for a $50,000 water tank installed at Tenterfield aerodrome as part of a disaster readiness hub, ahead of this year's bushfire season.
NSW Farmers are also calling on public support to help farmers in need.
"Any cash donations will be welcomed and distributed to those who need it," said NSW Farmers CEO Annabel Johnson.
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