A MOTHER'S LOVE: Calf Dusty-Firestorm with his mother who protected him from the blaze.
A MOTHER'S LOVE: Calf Dusty-Firestorm with his mother who protected him from the blaze.

Bracewell cow gives birth with 'flames all around' her

A COUPLE was able to salvage their home in a fire which consumed 300ha of their land.

Bracewell residents David and Katirina Peck live on O'Donohue Rd and their property was hit on Thursday by a blaze travelling north from Mount Alma.

Ms Peck is a member of Cedar Vale Rural Fire Brigade and said the group was stretched thin for help as the fire tore through the small community.

 

IMPACT: Mr and Ms Peck's residence on O'Donohue Rd surrounded by smoke from the flames.
IMPACT: Mr and Ms Peck's residence surrounded by smoke from the flames.

"It was just a wall of flames 30m up in the sky, it was in the treetops incinerating everything in its path and jumping hundreds of metres," Ms Peck said.

"The wind was so hot, there was no way you could back burn."

Ms Peck said neighbour Gavin Ogden's 360ha property was "completely wiped out" before the fire travelled towards her home.

"We could see the red glow but there was nothing we could do about it, we were just exhausted from trying to stop it from coming through Gavin's (property)," she said.

Mr Peck used a tractor to create fire breaks around the couple's newly built house as the flames approached.

The structure was largely undamaged.

Ms Peck's cattle also remained unharmed and one particular cow showed incredible perseverance by delivering a calf amid the blaze.

"There were flames all around them (but) they did not move from their spot because one of the cows was having a calf," she said.

"About an hour later when that calf got up and could walk, and the inferno that was still going had passed, they actually walked home and they were corralling this tiny little brown calf.

"You wouldn't believe how they survived ... the sight had me saying 'oh my god'."

The calf was named Dusty-Firestorm.

Along with the pleasant surprise, Ms Peck was relieved to have salvaged her home.

"My (previous) house got knocked over in the cyclone," she said.

"We built a new house, a brand new house and we love it so we really didn't want to lose it."

The same could not be said for the surrounding land.

 

IMPACT: The charred land in Bracewell after Thursday's fire attack.
The charred land in Bracewell after Thursday's fire attack.

"It burnt so hot, so hard, so intense and so fast, it has incinerated trees to just dust ... we maybe have one or two acres left " Ms Peck said.

"There's nothing left, it's just gut-wrenching ... the cow poo is exploding with the heat ... trees are falling down everywhere.

"I couldn't even go down to see if my cows were alive because it's just unsafe."

She said with the main food supply burnt, the couple was struggling to feed their cattle.

"We had heaps of feed for them which is a down side in a fire situation because there was plenty to burn," Ms Peck said.

"Someone offered a paddock ... but it's heart wrenching, they're our babies, we don't want them to leave home but we can't keep them here, they've got nothing to eat."

She said she, her husband and her neighbours continued to watch and help fight the fire.

"Thousands of acres are cooked," Ms Peck said.