Rain too little, too late for our region's farmers

IT RAINED on Thursday.

Not much, for sure, and definitely far too late to help Jonathan Mann.

The Benaraby grazier saw a fire tear through his 4000-acre property this week, taking all but 500 acres of his feed.

With no rain for the past eight months, it was already in short supply.

And then, on the blackened ground, rain fell.

It's still not known what caused the fire, but a dozer operating on a nearby block is a likely cause.

It's now nearly a month since authorities declared the end of hazard reduction back burning in the region.

The window of opportunity had closed, and our hot, hot spring had crunched it considerably.

"Operation Cool Burn" saw landowners, Parks and Wildlife and the Rural Fire Service work to reduce fuel.

But there's still plenty around - and the operation did not make as much progress as authorities had hoped.

Fire season is here, and only time will tell just how bad the impact of those shortfalls will be.