Preparing for the worst means having the best - 13 January 2015

When fire ravaged the Eden Valley area in South Australia 12 months ago it destroyed property, blackened the landscape and wiped out kilometres of crucial fencing that kept in livestock.

Andrew and Kate Jaeschke and their children, Jacob (12), Thomas (10), Ebony (8) and Caleb (6) were among the many that lost nearly everything.

“About 95 per cent of the property was burnt out. We lost more than 700 hectares of grazing land and about 30 kilometres of timber fencing in the fire-affected area,” Mr Jaeschke said.

The Jaeschkes run 180 Santa Gertrudis stud and commercial breeders, along with 80 replacement heifers, on their property Glen Rufus Park, a sister-like stud to the Rosevale Santa Gertrudis stud operated by the Greenup family in Queensland.
 
Some livestock had perished in the fire or had to be put down, and within 24 hours Mr Jaeschke had moved the rest to agistment, de-stocking the Eden Valley property entirely.
 
“As soon as I could, I went about getting all the insurance together and sourcing fencing products, which included a Waratah fencing field day supported by Coopers at Mt Pleasant,” Mr Jaeschke said.
 
He’s used a fencing set-up recommended for fire prone areas, including Jio® Star® posts combined with Jio MaxY® posts, 94cm droppers and a combination of Iowa barbed wire and Flexabel® wire.
 
Nearly a year on, Mr Jaeschke hasn’t looked back. He’s confident his new Waratah fence is here to stay, no matter what elements come into play.
 
“We invested in a Thumpa® pneumatic post driver and used Waratah’s Adjusta-stay® end assemblies,” Mr Jaeschke said. 
 
“They made it so easy my 10 and 12 year old sons could help me. As a family we have installed all the fencing ourselves, which has saved us from paying contractor fees.”
 
Mr Jaeschke is confident that his all-steel set up is the answer to solid and reliable fencing for years to come.
 
“A fire could come through here now and I would be really confident that it would be still standing at the end. That really gives me peace of mind.”