Civil Engineer Duncan Ibbott works in Sydney, but he's travelled eight hours north to Grafton where his family farm "Wave Hill" is under threat from the bushfires ravaging parts of Australia. He spoke to The Country's Jamie Mackay and Rowena Duncum about what he found when he got there.
The devastating blaze which decimated Duncan Ibbott's family farm began with an ember.
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"On Friday there was a high of 30 degree temperatures and heavy winds from the west. It picked up an ember and had thrown it probably four or five ks across the river, on to our westerly paddocks and that's how it all started".
The civil engineer who works in Sydney, had returned to his family farm "Wave Hill" in Grafton to help - only to find that 90 per cent of it had been destroyed.
Today, Ibbott and his father were "trying to hold on to whatever bit of fodder we've got left" after the fire ripped through the 12 thousand acre farm.
"It's going to be a tough day today to get through and the next couple of weeks we'll be hurting too" he told The Country's Jamie Mackay.
Ibbot was unsure how much livestock had survived the blaze, but managed to take advantage of a lull in the fire to book a truck and get 20 steers sent to the store sales.
Finding feed for cattle was also proving difficult.
"We're going to have to start looking at lightening the load or looking at sending them to the feedlots as well because at the moment it's just nothing - nothing to eat on the ground or in the trees".
Timber boundary fences on the northern most point of the farm were also destroyed.
When Ibbott went to check he found them "completely gone", with cattle "all out on the road".
He said repairing fences was the least of his worries
"Today we'll be focusing on keeping the house intact".
This involved clearing leaf litter from gutters and the garden, because the threat was not from fire, but embers said Ibbott.
"[Embers] can fly a couple of ks in front for where the fire actually is ... it'll be us just staying around the house and trying to put out spot fires if and when they occur".
The family were looking at ways to diversify, as the threat of fire and a constant drought had made farming cattle difficult.
"We've actually started experimenting with goats to try and utilise some of our less desirable land and our scrubby country. So they seem to be doing well. They're the only ones that are really embracing the drought".
Caring for and feeling cattle in drought conditions was proving tough, but today's focus was dealing with the fire and helping his neighbours said Ibbott.
"Then we'll have to put things in place to see about the medium to long term".