The bushfire destroyed the Limberg's sawmill and woodturning business, as well as several sheds and vehicles.
The bushfire destroyed the Limberg's sawmill and woodturning business, as well as several sheds and vehicles.

Severe drought and bushfires ravages Esk farm

A STRUGGLING farmer who has endured severe drought and two bushfires has thanked the kind strangers who came to help during the hardest time of her life.

The last few months have been “extremely difficult” for Esk farmer Glynis Limberg and her husband Ray, who not only lost almost half of their head of cattle, but also their sawmill and wood-turning business which had been passed down through the generations.

“I had just woken from a nap on Friday, December 6 and it was then I saw smoke out on the horizon to the left of us.

“My husband went outside and noticed a second fire in the opposite direction.

“It really was quite scary.”

Both fires started to intensify and after only grabbing a few possessions belonging to her mother in law, Mrs Limberg had no other option but to leave the property.

“My poor husband, he tried to stop cars to try and help him, but he couldn’t get anyone,” Mrs Limberg said.

“He had no other option but to just had to watch the sawmill burn down.

“It was a only a small operation sawmill, but his father used to work there too.

“It makes me sad when I think back to two days after the fire and my husband just stood there with his head down and said “I don’t know how we are going to get out of this”.

The family also lost their cattle sheds, water tank stands, an old diary shed that was being used as storage, multiple other sheds and vehicles.

Firefighters were thankfully able to save the family home.

“The house was quite fine, so we were very fortunate in that aspect,” she said.

As well as the loss of income from the destroyed business and the repairs needed on the property, the family lost 10 of their cattle to the fire, with a horse passing away in the days following the fire from stress.

“Losing my pets was the most heartbreaking,” Mrs Limberg said, tearfully.

“It was a horrible feeling, leaving them behind.

“We did lose 10 head of cattle directly and indirectly from the fire. Some of them were in poor shape, so my husband had to put them down.”

It was a cruel blow for the family, who had also lost cows due to the severe drought.

“The drought was really harsh on us. Before the fire we had lost a lot of cattle due to the drought,” she said.

“At one stage we had 70 head of cattle. We have half of that number now.

“To be hit with the drought first and then the fires, it was just devastating.”

Leanne Long and Kerry Clarke from Vinnies offered assistance to Glynis Limberg (middle) after two bushfires ravaged her farm in December.
Leanne Long and Kerry Clarke from Vinnies offered assistance to Glynis Limberg (middle) after two bushfires ravaged her farm in December.

Knowing she needed assistance, Mrs Limberg reached out to Vinnies, and has made two new friends from the support and kindness she has received.

Ipswich residents Kerry Clarke and Leanne Long have been making the trek out to Esk to visit with Mrs Limberg to deliver her food and be a shoulder to lean on.

Thanks to kind donations, they were able to offer Mrs Limberg $3000 towards the family’s costs, help which was followed up with further support to brighten the Limberg’s Christmas.

“She was still with us when the $3000 claim went through and she just burst into tears, she was so grateful,” Ms Clarke said.

“We took out lots of food for her and the family and some toys for her son. She put all the stuff we had brought for her son into the one bag and told him it had come from Vinnies because she wanted him to know that people were willing to help.

“Glynis is one of those people you really want to reach out to and help, one of those people who make it all worthwhile.”

Mrs Limberg said she would be lost without the help from Vinnies.

“It is very hard for me to ask for help, but this time I am glad I stepped forward,” she said.

“Someone said to me ‘you are usually the one that gives help when it is needed, so now it is your turn to receive a little help yourself’.

“If it wasn’t for Vinnies, we would have had a really hard Christmas.

“I am really grateful for their help. They are a wonderful organisation.”

If you’ve been affected by bushfires or drought and need assistance please call the Vinnies

Helpline on 1800 846 643.

If you would like to help Vinnies help more people like Glynis Limberg you can donate to the

Always There Vinnies Queensland Disaster Appeal online via Vinnies.org.au