WHILE he lost a shed containing important pumps and irrigation equipment in the Deans Gap fire as it hit Jerrawangala on Tuesday night, Robert Martin said the damage could easily have been a lot worse.
Firefighters fought for hours to save homes and buildings on the property that houses a large orchard which escaped the blaze unscathed.
Mr Martin said it was a difficult battle that lasted close to 12 hours.
“We had flames 50 feet [15 metres] high in the back of the creek and there was literally a shower of embers,” he said.
The firefighters were “right on the ball” with their predictions on where and when it would hit, and “did a wonderful job”.
“It was good to have the firies here, they did a great job,” Mr Martin said.
A veteran of several previous bushfires including the devastating blaze of 2001-02, Mr Martin decided to stay and fight the flames when given the option to stay or go.
He said he was glad he stayed.
“The more eyes and ears you have on the situation the better,” he said.
“If we weren’t here there’s little things like having only one shed lost to losing five or six sheds.”
Along with the shed Mr Martin also lost about five kilometres of fencing and 500 metres of power lines, and his focus was on getting power restored so he could get to operating his popular fruit stall beside the Princes Highway.
“There’s a bit of damage here and there where the fire spotted over but it’s just a matter of getting the power back on and getting it sorted,” he said.