DESTRUCTION: Terry Rauchle is devastated after losing cattle and almost 4000 acres of grazing land.
DESTRUCTION: Terry Rauchle is devastated after losing cattle and almost 4000 acres of grazing land. Philippe Coquerand

Search continues for 200 cattle after Woolooga's worst fire

TERRY and Dale Rauchle have been left stunned by the "wall of fire" that left a trail of destruction on their Old Boowoogun Station property at Woolooga last Thursday.

The 1618ha (4000 acre) property that was once grazing land for 1000 cattle is now blackened to nothing, with just 20.83ha untouched.

 

DESTRUCTION: Terry Rauchle is devastated after losing cattle and almost 4,000 acres of grazing land.
DESTRUCTION: Terry Rauchle is devastated after losing cattle and almost 4,000 acres of grazing land. Philippe Coquerand

Mr Rauchle said that in his 40 years on the property he had never seen anything quite like it.

"Out west I was battling fires but nothing like the one we saw last week, he said.

"There was nothing as ferocious as this one, the wind, the heat and the body of fire made it that much more unbearable.

"We had 12-foot-high flames coming across the paddock. It was terrifying.

"The fire kept changing direction, we had to backburn near our house otherwise we would have lost it too."

Mr Rauchle said he had retrieved around 700 cattle but was still looking for the remaining 200.

"We've had a few people trying to count them up," he said.

The cost continues to accumulate with the destruction of fences, sheds and stock.

"I'd say counting up the damage to fences, loss of stock, sheds, and grazing feed, I'll be looking at damages of more than $500,000," Mr Rauchle said.

"It's completely devastating, I've worked on this property most of my life so to see it go like this, it's heartbreaking.

"I'll have to sell some of my cattle at the next sale because I don't have enough feed for them."

 

DESTRUCTION: Terry Rauchle is devastated after losing cattle and almost 4,000 acres of grazing land.
DESTRUCTION: Terry Rauchle is devastated after losing cattle and almost 4,000 acres of grazing land. Philippe Coquerand

Mr Rauchle said his top priority this week is locating the rest of the cattle, then his next mission will be to get his fences fixed.

As the community rallies in the aftermath, Mr Rauchle said he was thankful for the help and support they had received.

"I'd like to thank Tom Grady, Graham Sheppard and Dennis Smith for bringing me some bales of hay, they're absolute lifesavers," he said.

Mr Rauchle is hoping the government will declare the Woolooga district a disaster.

"We need assistance out here because a lot of people have lost everything," he said.

Gympie Times


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