WINERY RAVAGED BY FIRE
“I’m very, very thankful... I could have lost a lot more.”
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.
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.