WIN­ERY RAV­AGED BY FIRE

“I’m very, very thank­ful... I could have lost a lot more.”

Stanthorpe Border Post - - FRONT PAGE - Matthew Pur­cell Matthew.Pur­cell@bor­der­post.com.au

A GLEN Aplin win­ery is lucky to still be stand­ing af­ter fire rav­aged the prop­erty on Sun­day morn­ing.

What started as a sim­ple mow­ing job switched to panic af­ter Har­ring­ton Glen Es­tate owner Brent Ire­land hit a rock and sparked a blaze.

“I was down to the last few bits, so all the African love grass was sort of flat­tened and I went over some rocks I didn’t know were there,” he said.

“I looked be­hind me and there was a lit­tle tiny cir­cle of fire so I tried to put it out.”

Be­fore he knew it 3ha were en­gulfed.

“I had peo­ple in the train (ac­com­mo­da­tion) and made sure they left, then the dog and then the girl­friend,” Mr Ire­land said.

“I was lucky, they (fire crews) ar­rived when the fire had reached the garage and was around the diesel and I was fight­ing that when they ar­rived so I was very, very for­tu­nate they got there then. It was around a whole 500–600 litres of diesel – that would have been nasty. So they stopped it from hit­ting the win­ery and the houses and the garage shed.

“It got into my mus­cat and lost all my ir­ri­ga­tion. A few grand in dam­age but could have been a hell of a lot worse if it weren’t for those boys and girls.”

Mr Ire­land said it was stag­ger­ing how quickly the fire took hold.

“I couldn’t be­lieve it ... how fast it was. It went from one lit­tle square me­tre and just took off,” he said.

“They (fire crews) then left and it took off again. There was still some smoul­der­ing stuff up in the mus­cat and that’s when I lost the rest of the mus­cat.

“I’m more wor­ried that they stopped it from get­ting in the bush. Lim­ber­lost Rd ... it could have just taken off so I’m glad they stopped it while it was just on my prop­erty – but very scary.

“I’m very, very thank­ful that both the Ru­ral Fire Ser­vice and the guys in town got out here on a Sun­day.”

It was the sec­ond win­ery fire in just over a month. More than 40ha went up at Golden Grove Es­tate in mid-June, with the win­ery own­ers for­tu­nate not to sus­tain any sig­nif­i­cant dam­age.

PHOTO: MATTHEW PUR­CELL

LUCKY STARS: Har­ring­ton Glen Es­tate's Brent Ire­land and his dog Mus­ket. Mr Ire­land said he was lucky there wasn't sig­nif­i­cantly more dam­age af­ter a fire took off on his prop­erty on Sun­day.

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