TWO men were prepared to stand their ground against what could have been impossible odds had the fire made it to Sussex Inlet.
Nathan and Greg Todhunter’s best efforts to prepare for the bush to explode only metres from the house were wasted.
Wasted, because the fire did not make it to Sussex Inlet.
Nathan Todhunter owns a takeaway and grocery store on the outskirts of Sussex Inlet.
Apart from the extreme heat, his Tuesday began like any other, in the store. However, by 2pm he had received word that the bushfire at Deans Gap had jumped containment lines.
He shut the shop and went home to prepare.
He had been in Sussex Inlet when the last big fire blasted through the region. That blaze had also started in the vicinity of Deans Gap.
Mr Todhunter was aware of how vulnerable his home was, being so close to the bush and at that stage in the path of the fire.
“If the wind hadn’t changed I’m pretty sure we were going to be in trouble,” he said.
“I saw the temperature get to 44 degrees. We were wetting everything around the house with hoses.
“On Tuesday this ground was soaked but on Wednesday it had completely dried out again.
“Most of the people at our end of the street had left, but I couldn’t afford to leave this house and everything in it,” he said.
The two men had filled up buckets, eskies, two wheel barrows and even a trailer with water. Their water supply was lined up between the house and the nearby bush.
They were determined to stand their ground for as long as they could.
During the afternoon he received a phone call from a friend who was a firefighter but stranded on the northern side of the road block.
Mr Todhunter picked up a number of people by boat, including the firefighter and brought them back to Sussex Inlet.