Farmers take issue with Civil Defence over care for livestock

Farmers at a community meeting in Wakefield on Saturday have said Civil Defence should let them return to their properties to care for their livestock.

Wildfires continue to close in on the small township of Wakefield, with hundreds evacuated and the military shutting off State Highway 6, the main street up the middle of the town, to only a managed army convoy.

At a community meeting, hundreds showed up; the evacuees' emotions were clearly on display as they spoke with Civil Defence personnel.

"You saved all of us. I'm very thankful," said one resident after seeing a video of just how close the fire came to their house in Redwood Valley.

But others also took the opportunity to air their concerns with Civil Defence.

"I take issue with the Civil Defence person that said human life is paramount, and then property. There's one that fits in and that's livestock," said one farmer.

To clapping from others in the community, the man said he was worried about the animals left behind that couldn't be fed or given water.

"You should be taking us with you, we are the locals," he said. "We know where the stock are, we know where their needs are".

Many of the animals were in the same situation, evacuated to an emergency shelter at the A&P Showgrounds; hundreds of dogs, pigs, goats, and even a pony, being kept safe and well.

But with the fire burning ever closer to Wakefield, it looks like it could be another night away. An entire town, and the valleys, are held hostage by a monster fire.