West Wimmera Mail & Natimuk & Goroke Advertiser

[updated 4 Jan 2002]

WEST WIMMERA MAIL - Friday February 2, 1900

A fire started on MacMILLAN's farm, about 8 miles from Hamilton. The Morgiana lost 6000 acres of grass and many miles of fencing. On the Bochara Estate 2000 acres of grass were consumed. Messrs. FREEMAN, BREWIS Bros. and PEICH also lost heavily. The wind changed round to the West in the evening, and burnt several selectors clean out. Mr. MacMASTER lost everything but his house and ten acres of land. Mr. J. LINDSAY, besides losing 300 acres of grass, had 100 sheep roasted. Mr W PHILLIP had 2400 acres destroyed, and the Monivae Estate lost 2000 acres. A heavy thunderstorm fell early this morning and checked the fire. Two men, Lawrence McKENNA and his son, John, were trying to save some sheep, but in doing so they were severely burned and were brought to Hamilton. They were taken to Dr. HAYES private hospital. Both were severely burned about the face and legs, but they are making satisfactory progress. Mr. Allan LEARMONTH owner of Corsa had a narrow escape while working at the fire, as his horse was burned under him.

A pitiable story comes from Casterton.  Some eight miles distant in the vicinity of Carapook, a small township, a fire started on Sunday,  and fanned by the strong Northerly wind quickly spread. The fire started at Turkey Bottom Creek, and invaded the Phoines estate and the Bella Vista estate, doing considerable damage, Chiefly to grass and stock.  The fire than turned towards Carapook where there are several large farms,  Mr. HUTTON lost 160 acres of crop, five stacks being completely consumed and only a part of the homestead is left undamaged.
Mr. GIBBS was, however, the greatest sufferer of all,  for besides losing all his crop, he lost homestead, machinery, buggy, waggons and everything in fact. The family were only saved by taking shelter under a spring, whereby continually throwing water over themselves, they escaped with their lives.
Mr. McNICHOLLS suffered considerably in grass and Mr. ARDEN lost his woolshed.  Mrs. COTTER and LEE lost all their crop, about 1500 bags and some buildings, but saved their horses one of which was valuable stallion. The fire then entered the Muntham Estate, invading the fattening paddocks, but leaving the homestead on the right unscathed.   The fire than proceeded through the Estate, and was making in the direction of Coleraine.  A number of men went from Casterton to assist in putting out the flames but their efforts had to be chiefly confined to saving stock and homesteads.  Last night Casterton was well lighted from the reflection of the fire, not withstanding the fact that it was some 8 miles distant.  


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