Fire at Lorne Valley Macadamia Farm

Firefighters at the Lorne Valley Macadamia Farm on Saturday, November 3. Photo: Angie Bell.

Firefighters at the Lorne Valley Macadamia Farm on Saturday, November 3. Photo: Angie Bell.

The owners of Lorne Valley Macadamia Farm have thanked all the brigade members who assisted in fighting a fire at their property on Saturday, November 3. 

Coowner Angie Bell said firefighters were on the property within 10 minutes of her call for help. 

“One of the volunteer firefighters lives locally at Lorne,” she said. 

“He saw the smoke and was putting on his gear before his pager went off.” 

Angie said the fire came within metres of the macadamia trees. 

“Macadamias are really flammable because of their high oil content,” she said. 

She said had it not been for the quick response by firefighters, the fire would have spread very quickly and they would have lost all the trees plus their house. 

Some of the trees which were close to the machinery shed turned brown due to the fire.

Fire and Rescue NSW and NSW Rural Fire Service Brigades from Comboyne, Lorne, Wauchope, Port Macquarie and Laurieton attended. There were eight fire trucks and a Hazmat vehicle.

Angie and John Bell have been the owners of the Lorne Valley Macadamia Farm for the past 12 months. 

The couple bought a new tractor a month ago, but it was completely destroyed in the fire. Angie said the tractor was insured, however the machinery shed itself wasn’t. 

“It’s devastating to watch all your things on fire,” she said. 

Angie expects the removal of the shed will be expensive. 

“It could collapse at any moment,” she said. 

The 50 acre property is bounded by the Camden Haven River, and is about 13 kilometres west of Kendall.

Over time the macadamia orchard has expanded to 1400 trees.

Originally a Port Macquarie local, John returned to the area after 30 years living and working in Cowra. Angie is a well- known local teacher at Camden Haven High School.

Angie and John are leasing out farm equipment in Cowra.

“This fire on top of the drought in Cowra has made it tough for us, but we are thankful for all the caring support we have received,” Angie said. 

The cause of the fire is undetermined. 

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