Chris Wentworth-Brown said he was still in a daze on Tuesday as he stood outside his Uarbry home that was burnt to the ground by the Sir Ivan Fire.
Just over a week ago the father-of-two and his family lost everything as the catastrophic fire tore through the Central West, destroying 35 houses and everything in its path.
“It’s pretty daunting,” he said.
“There’ll be a bit of green grass around before it soaks in…
“I’m trying not to think about it.”
Chris was among the many farmers east of Dunedoo who banded together on the weekend of February 11 and 12 to defend their properties as they were threatened by the aggressive fire front.
Having fought the fire since the Saturday, Chris made the difficult decision to flee his property after seeing the wool shed – around 700 metres from his house – practically explode.
“It was as if someone had set a bomb off under it,” he said.
“The fire chased us all the way down the highway.”
Chris has since returned to his property to begin the clean-up, where all that remains of the once head-turning homestead is rubble.
He reflected on the life-time of memories the family home once held. Chris said he was fortunate to inherit the house from his parents, reminiscing on the beautiful gardens his mother had once established.
Chris’ parents moved into the old homestead when it was a run-down, vacant house with not a tree around it. It soon became a home where Chris grew up, and went on to raise a family of his own.
“Now it’s not there you realise how much you loved it,” he said.
“There were a lot of memories at this house, a lot of good times, but I’ll get all that back there somehow.
“At least we’re all on the right side of the ground.
“I don’t know how no one got killed, it was the grace of God.”
As he begins the recovery effort on his charred property Chris is putting the dent on his livelihood at the back of his mind.
“We had a nice home and everything else but by no means were we wealthy,” he said.
“It’ll be the straw that breaks the camel’s back I think, but I’ll worry about that later.”
He has been carried by the community support and mateship that Australians never fail to show during times of need. The volunteer crew from Scone dropped into Chris’ property yesterday to offer emergency supplies.
“It’s people like that that keep you going,” he said.
Chris and his family are currently residing with friends.