Shirley Smith, 62, caring for horses at Casino after fires.
Shirley Smith, 62, caring for horses at Casino after fires. Marc stapelberg

Woman flees raging fire with beloved horses in tow

STRUGGLING to load her panicking horses into a float, Rappville resident Shirley Smith stayed calm as she worked to save her beloved animals as the bushfire roared through her paddocks.

Ms Smith, 62, said the terrifying fires came through her 30ha property around 3pm.

"I was stuck out at Rappville last night, but there was no power, lines are down everywhere, no water, no mobile service," she said.

"The fires have it completely gutted, blackened and bare out there now."

Obviously tired and smeared with ash, Ms Smith also twisted her knee trying to move the geldings to safety.

"It was really hot and the fire raced through the trees, the entire trees were burning, I could hear the big trees burning and falling," she said.

"My son tried to cut the wire fence, but the horses were frightened. I put two of my warmbloods Xing and Louis into the float and brought them out this morning."

Ms Smith brought her horses to the Casino Showgrounds where she has previously competed in dressage events and spent the night in her car to be near them.

Shirley Smith, 62, caring for horses at Casino after fires.
Shirley Smith, 62, caring for horses at Casino after fires. Marc stapelberg

"I was back at home at 1am this morning and now I have to go back this morning to get the other two horses," she said.

"I'm very lucky my house was saved, it's over 100 years old and has survived fires and floods."

Ms Smith praised the efforts of firefighters who have done an amazing job.

"The wildlife was really panicked too, kangaroos and possums, I hope if people can help by donating to help the native animals," she said.



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