Strong winds bring down 'monster' fig
PROPERTY owners' plans for a 'monster' fallen fig tree have come to a halt after someone set it on fire.
Greg and Carolyn Soward were "devastated" to learn someone had entered their Nimbin property on Saturday afternoon and deliberately set fire to the ancient strangler fig tree.
The fig, which stood about 80 metres tall came down on Friday afternoon in the high winds after taking a few hits from the recent storms.
"I feel very sad that someone has thought they can come onto our property and light a fire in such gusty winds," Mrs Soward said.
"The tree was used by our forefathers to locate where they were going, and was still used as a landmark."
Mrs Soward said the tree belonged to their historic homestead which was built in 1906 from timbers from the property.
"The fig tree was saved to be a feature of the property," she said
"We are devastated, we feel terrible because we are really attached to the tree."
She said the fig tree was about 500-years-old and was part of original rainforest around the area.
"It holds a lot of nature like birds, bees, snakes and possums," she said.
"It feels like a death of relative.
"We were just going to leave it there to dry because it wasn't impacting anyone, then try to use it as part of work to our homestead. We'd still like to salvage as much timber as possible to use if we can."
Mr Soward, who has volunteered for Nimbin Rural Fire Brigade for more than 40 years, found out about the fire when he received a phone message about it at 2.30pm on Saturday afternoon.
"I was crook on the couch," Mr Soward said.
"It was sad I couldn't go to the fire on my own property
"The brigade said it was deliberately lit ... they were here for about three hours trying to put it the fire out.
"We called the police soon after... it is definitely another blow."
Mrs Soward said they have been told by the local timber mill the tree was too big to slab.
If anyone can help the couple slab their fig tree, or has any advice, please call Mrs Soward on 0448 021 244