36 bison at tourist park ready for onslaught of fire
PHOTOGRAPHER Jimmy Malecki reckoned the safest place to be when the fire flared up was with the 36 bison at the ranch.
Aranyani Bison Adventure Tourist Park at Bungawalbin has been under the threat of fire before.
With 36 bison, horses, ponies, two pigs, a donkey, chooks and a small herd of cattle, the best place for the animals and humans was at the park, Mr Malecki said.
"They're as safe as they can be," he said.
"We have a fire pump and 20,000-litre tank and in the paddock we have a sprinkler system."
Myrtle Creek, where the tourist park situated, was hit hard by the Busbys Flat fire in early October.
Mr Malecki, who works at the bison park, said he lived only 17km away.
When the fire flared at Bungawalbin last week, Mr Malecki had to evacuate his home.
"As soon as the fire got 50m near the home, the RFS lit the grass near wherever the fire was approaching so that it would meet up with the approaching fire," he said.
"After I left, the fire slowed to a crawl but was savage heading west from us. With the winds being unpredictable, I'm very lucky that the burn through me was slow.
"When I got there last night to look at where the fire was they were lighting the grass at the edge of the bush. "The buildings are all fine.
"Even the workshop, which doesn't have sprinklers and is nearest to the bush. The buildings and ground around them was drenched."
Mr Malecki was grateful to the firefighters.
"There were three or four trucks working on saving my home," he said.
"They were so careful with all my belongings. Even my fruit trees planted out in the yard were hosed down so they wouldn't be affected by the fire."
2.15PM" An emergency warning is in place for a bush fire burning near Bungawalbin, New Italy and The Gap. The fire is out of control and spreading quickly.
Here are photos of the park amid the smoke haze.