Raglan Tavern owner Michelle Weir opened her business to residents and travellers stranded by bushfires that threatened the townships of Ambrose and Mount Larcom.
Raglan Tavern owner Michelle Weir opened her business to residents and travellers stranded by bushfires that threatened the townships of Ambrose and Mount Larcom. Matt Taylor

Evacuees, truckies and travellers seek refuge at tavern

THE Raglan Tavern was packed on Tuesday night as it became the evacuation point for Ambrose residents fleeing bushfires fuelled by catastrophic weather conditions.

But it wasn't just evacuees who descended on the watering hole - travellers and truckies were also stranded as the Bruce Highway was cut, smoke deeming it too unsafe to travel.

Staff at the hotel were run off their feet but have been praised for their efforts in catering for the people.

"It was just the bedding situation for people I suppose," owner Michelle Weir said.

"But they all survived, it was better than being on the highway all night, and we could feed them all.

"We were just lucky the power didn't go out because it went out for 10 minutes but came back on."

Michelle said she received a call from a local firefighter in the afternoon to say Ambrose was being evacuated with residents being sent north.

It was all hands on deck from staff, with a recently opened coffee garden at the facility coming in handy.

"I'm so glad we had the coffee garden area out there, I just put the TV on for them and everyone was chillin' (sic)," she said.

"(They were relaxed) because they weren't local, and they didn't have to worry about cattle and properties."

While she made sure everyone was comfortable, fed and happy, Michelle had her own concerns for her husband.

"I was pretty stressed because Brett was out at the narrows, and I didn't know where he was," she said.

"He didn't get home until 3.45am Thursday morning, so that was a bit scary.

"It was just that he got stranded at Mount Larcom and couldn't get back here."