Mid North Coast fires: Bathurst family lose their home in Wauchope bushfires

Stay with us for rolling fire updates here

NOTHING LEFT: What is left of Kiri Armstrong's home which is on their property near Wauchope, after fires tore through it on Friday.

NOTHING LEFT: What is left of Kiri Armstrong's home which is on their property near Wauchope, after fires tore through it on Friday.

WHEN Kiri Armstrong received a call in the middle of Friday night to say the family's property near Wauchope was under immediate threat from bushfire, she jumped straight in the car and made her way there, but said nothing could prepare her for the level of devastation she found in the area.

Ms Armstrong, who along with husband Nick breed cattle in Bathurst, said she had no idea of what she was going to do once she got to the fire affected region, but left Bathurst as soon as she got word from neighbours that things were really bad.

The family own 370 acres near Wauchope, which they bought two years ago, to run cattle on, and with a view to retire there when their children were older.

I just thought I'll get there and do what I need to do. I was terrified.

Kiri Armstrong

But with one of two houses on the property now completely destroyed by the blaze, those plans are now seem a long way off.

Ms Armstrong said she was terrified as she drove the eight long hours to reach their property adding she had no idea what she was going to do once she got there.

"I just thought I'll get there and do what I need to do. I was terrified."

Two kilometres from her house, her neighbour called again, and said "we've managed to save one house, but not the other one."

"I just burst into tears," she said.

She said the neighbour had gone through the paddock on his quad bike and opened up the gates so the animals could get out as the fire approached, but could do nothing more.

As it was they were already looking for another neighbour, who was missing.

ALSO MAKING NEWS:

"Nobody knew where he was whether he was in his house or his car, we since found out he escaped through a bush track. It was pretty bad."

Assessing the damage to the property, Ms Armstrong said they lost the main house, 60 per cent of the fencing and half the feed.

"It's pretty devastating."

The property's water storage, pumps and pipes were also all destroyed by the ferocity of the blaze, and lie melted on the ground.

Ms Armstrong said she stayed at the property over the weekend, but with no water, no power and no services things were pretty dire. She said the scenes were beyond comprehension.

People are describing it as apocalyptic, and that's really what it is.

Kiri Armstrong

"It was like a living hell on the way out"

"People are describing it as apocalyptic, and that's really what it is.

"The sky is red. As I was driving into Wauchope the sun was coming up and everything was just grey and ash, but the sky was red. There were still flames on the trees.

She said their house was one of four wiped out in the fire, she fears there are others living in nearby villages who now find themselves in a similar situation.

Ms Armstrong returned to Bathurst Monday, having bought feed for the animals and relocated them to paddocks where water is still available, there was little else which could be done.

"I came home to see the kids, plus there's no power or water there, so you can't really stay.

She said community groups are helping out where they can preparing meals for fire affected families, who come into the community hall and eat.

While you're with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox from the Port Macquarie News. To make sure you're up to date with all the news, SIGN UP HERE.

This story Bathurst family devastated after Wauchope property destroyed first appeared on Western Advocate.