Father and son die in doomed bid to save farm


A fire-ravaged community is mourning the loss of two "salt of the earth blokes" who died defending their home in Cobargo.

Patrick and his father Robert Salway tried to save their home and farming equipment from the raging Badja Forest blaze on Monday night.

Their bodies were found by a family member early on Tuesday on their property, called Ashwood, on the outskirts of the small southern NSW town.

Patrick's wife Renee is also expecting another child.

Cobargo resident David Allen had known the family for most of his life.

"They were really good guys, just some salt of the earth blokes. It's sad, it is a bloody tragedy," Mr Allen told The Daily Telegraph.

"Patrick was a really good, affable guy, he would always help everyone out when they needed it.

"He loved his horses and showjumping, he played footy. It is really sad.

"Robert was a really community-minded bloke. A great guy. It is terrible, horrific."

"It was like a warzone when the fire came through there were embers coming out of the sky, it was almost pitch black."

Chair of NSW Farmers Dairy Committee Colin Thompson said the family had strong roots in the industry and will be greatly missed.

"They are multi-generational dairy farmers who are very well respected in the industry and in the town," he said.

"Robert was a genuine, hard working, farmer who had survived drought and low milk prices. This is really going to devastate the dairy community in Bega.

"Patrick was very highly regarded in the industry, he also leaves behind a young family. If there is anything we can do to help, we want to."

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