Rugged terrain forces firefighters to sit and wait

FOR most of his life Drik Drik’s Neil Kerr has seen bushfires come and go. 

But this week’s Kentbruck blaze came within two kilometres of his doorstep.

The cattle producer and Country Fire Authority (CFA) volunteer of 50 years was on the front foot yesterday as flames climbed the cliffs of the Glenelg River near his 142-hectare property. 

Sitting in his ute with his CFA overalls rolled down, Mr Kerr, 69, reflected on the ominous haze threatening his livelihood. 

“We feel as though we’ve been under attack,” he said. 

“There’s so much smoke and so much fire — it’s hard to know what to think.” 

Earlier this week he rushed home to relocate all his farm machinery from the shed to green pockets around his property. 

Sprinklers were also turned on to protect the home and garden from the ever-present threat of embers. 

“You couldn’t tell where it was, that was the trouble,” he said. 

Drik Drik CFA was joined by crews from outer Melbourne, Sunbury and South Australia yesterday and watched for falling embers which sparked spot fires along the banks of the Glenelg. 

“If we could get at it we could do something but we’re all sitting here, it’s too rough,” Mr Kerr said. 

“The trouble is as long as you’ve got national parks and extensive pine plantations you’re going to have big fires that you can’t get at.” 

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