A Bellangry family are very grateful to some local heroes for helping them out during the bushfire emergency.
Mark and Chris Philipson from Bellangry spent a day putting firebreaks in their 100-hectare back block which is about 80 per cent bush.
They had done all the boundaries, fencel ines etc including a long,wide stretch along Cowal Creek Road, to keep the fire from crossing the road. They had also spent many days the previous week helping neighbours with firefighting, as country people do.
Late that afternoon, the back axle broke on the tractor leaving it stranded on the edge of the bush.
"The police advised us that same afternoon that they were expecting the fire to come through during the night. We were expecting to lose the tractor which is old, but way too expensive to replace," said Mark.
"Next morning when the expected fire front hadn't eventuated we rang Don Harman, a retired tractor mechanic, to see if he knew of an available part nearby. Don rang Terry Griffiths of Griffiths Traders who opened his business to us early Sunday morning to enable us to get the part.
"Don picked it up, brought it out to us and helped repair the tractor to enable us to get it to safety by that afternoon. The fire did arrive and we lost the whole block, but luckily the tractor was safe and the firebreaks held," he said.
The Philipsons says it was a lovely helping hand from a couple of locals from Wauchope that they think is worthy of a mention.
"Don and Terry were our heroes during these rather long, wearisome few weeks, and seeing the locals banding together to help each other is lovely," said Mark.