UPDATE # 1: The Currowan bushfire, which has been burning out of control on the NSW South Coast for weeks, struck Narrawilly and Croobyar farms on Saturday, 4 January 2020, with unimaginable ferocity.
Narrawilly Farm (Princes Highway, Milton) and Croobyar Farm (Ringland Lane, Croobyar) had been significantly damaged by bushfires a few days earlier. Like a zombie in a horror film that will not die, the Currowan fire returned to attack us again and again.
On Tuesday, 31 December 2019, during the early afternoon, huge flames swept out of Little Forest, to our west, jumped across the highway onto Narrawilly Farm, then headed north east towards Lake Conjola where it devastated and terrified. That same Tuesday afternoon, the swamp on Narrawilly's northern edge caught alight, as well as its paddocks adjacent to the highway. Rob, with the help of our incredible neighbours, struggled for hours to contain its spread. Sleep was not an option.
In the morning, at the dawn of the new year, we saw through the haze the fire's impact: farmland and surrounding landscape, along with its wildlife (birds, reptiles, small mammals, insects), had been incinerated.
The fire in the farm's swamp is burning still.
Four days later, on a blisteringly hot Saturday, a new firefront would arrive: to Croobyar in the afternoon and Narrawilly in the evening, turning both farms into firegrounds.
Some pieces of good news:
The bad news:
UPDATE #2: On Monday, 6 January 2020, light showers started to fall on the farms. As of midday, 2mm of rain had fallen. We need exponentially more to bring the Currowan fires (and all other bushfires across Australia) to an end.
Our sincerest thanks go to our neighbours and friends, our local farming community and local business community. We are so very grateful for your assistance and support.
UPDATE #3: Conditions forecast for this coming Friday night, as well as those for the early hours of Saturday morning, aren't looking great for us (at this stage). A southerly wind is likely to hit Milton-Ulladulla some time between 9pm and midnight on Friday night, gusting up to 90 km/h, and carrying with it the potential to drive the active fire in Narrawilly's rainforest towards our dairy, farmhouse, northern paddocks and beyond.
Over the past few days we have received many messages of support from Australia's farming community -- and we appreciate all of your concern and love. When Rob has been able to speak to his farming peers on the phone, he has warned them of the following:
UPDATE #4: Fires again on Narrawilly Farm on Thursday, 23 January 2020, a day of very high temperatures and ferocious winds gusting from the north and north-west. Dust blanks out the sun, making it difficult to see where the fires are. Shortly after midday, flames leap out of the trees, race towards Rob's mother's home on Stony Hill Lane and the southern edge of the farm. Miriam evacuates to safety while the winds drive flames and smoke towards her house.
Firefighters save the house and all its contents after more than four hours of effort. Part of Miriam's garden is destroyed and surrounding paddocks and even more of the rainforest trees burnt.
UPDATE 5: For those keeping score at home, Rob's farms and business have been impacted by multiple fires on multiple dates:
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