Tough Northern farmer prepares for clean-up

IT IS going to take a bloody long time to clean up rubble from the bushfires, according to Carlton River property owner Leigh Arnold.

Mr Arnold, of Lilydale, lost his rental house, his shearing shed, wool shed, machinery shed and about 60kilometres of fencing at his farming property at Sugarloaf Road, east of Dodges Ferry, on Friday.

"It's all but stuffed," he said.

He estimated the damage at about $300,000, but his biggest worry was the clean-up.

"We've got an insurance bloke here at the moment looking at what's left of the buildings and then once that's all cleaned up, we've got the cattle to secure," Mr Arnold said.

Cattle and sheep escaped from Mr Arnold's property when the fences around his land burnt down.

"We've got all our cattle back, but we're not too sure on sheep numbers yet," he said.

"We pretty much know where they are, they're all mixed up with the neighbours' sheep, but we have to figure out whose is whose."

Yesterday, Mr Arnold and the men who lived in the now burnt-down house were part-way through securing a fence to keep the sheep and cattle in the one area.

"Then it'll just be a matter of putting the fences back together and then cleaning up some of the buildings," he said.

The men were not in the house at the time of the fire as they were away on holidays, but were due to return on Monday.

Despite the disappointing experience, Mr Arnold is staying strong.

"There's no point being upset about it all, that doesn't achieve anything," he said.

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