Angela Webber and Harry Julitz of Drake.
Angela Webber and Harry Julitz of Drake. Marc Stapelberg

'Very stressful': Residents fear they will 'lose everything'

UPDATE, 12.50pm: ONE Drake resident has taken to YouTube to explain why he evacuated his family but stayed behind himself to protect the home as best he can.

Going by the nickname, Offgrid John, one father is doing everything he can to save his home as the fire intensifies.

"It's always a bit empty when they go, the girls and the wife are sent away," Offgrid John said in a video he posted to Youtube.

"It's pretty smoky, some other fires broke out among Mud Flat (Road).

"So rather than mess around, the wife and kids are safely out of the fire bowl.

"I'm surveying where to put water, I'll be putting a lot of water on this place."

With more than 32,000 ha already burned by the fire, Offgrid John is hoping conditions will change soon.

"The wind's died down which is wonderful," he said.

"If that can hold up for a while, we could have a reprieve."

Offgrid John thanked everyone for their support during this uncertain time.

"Your prayers are more than appreciated, and special prayers for the firefighters," he said.

"We're going to probably put another benefit on after this because some people have lost their homes."

 

UPDATE, 12.15pm: RESIDENTS have evacuated as a bushfire approaches the township of Drake.

Local man Harry Julitz said they left because the fire was backing onto their property.

"We've evacuated just to be safe… 1000 litres won't stop a big bushfire," he said.

"We'll go to Tabulam, and then maybe to Casino, but there's fires all round, so you don't know what to do.

"In February we went to the Tenterfield evac centre.

"It's very stressful, you might lose everything that you've worked so hard for."

Drake resident Ebony Inchley loads goats onto a trailer as the bushfire approaches.
Drake resident Ebony Inchley loads goats onto a trailer as the bushfire approaches. Marc Stapelberg

 

Original story: RESIDENTS of Drake are weighing up their options, as a bushfire rages towards their township.

Emily Schofield, 19, has spent the morning helping her pregnant neighbour, Ebony Inchley, load goats onto a trailer.

She's made a mask out of flannelette and elastic to protect herself from the smoke.

"Ebony is 30 weeks pregnant and I wanted to make sure she was okay," Emily said.

Graham Duffell watches as the bushfire approaches Drake.
Graham Duffell watches as the bushfire approaches Drake. Marc Stapelberg

"If we need to, my dad and the dog and I will evacuate to Tenterfield, or maybe to Casino because we have family there.

"We're a pretty tight knit community, we go through the ups and downs.

"It's so surreal, especially the first few days… with the drought and everything dying out, it just drives more fuel.

"Do we evacuate again or do we just stay and defend? It's trying to find that middle ground.

"It's just hard out here, especially when we've had hardly any rain… just know that you're lucky if you live in a city."



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