An excavator begins breaking the burnt earth in Steve Hodgetts' paddock in Durham Lead.
The hole needs to be a metre deep and big enough fit the black carcasses of 20 dead sheep, who had been milling near the fence when the grass fire charged through.
Like other residents on fire-ravaged Pryors Road, Mr Hodgetts is spending this Monday cleaning up and counting the cost. But he has come out better off than some neighbours, who have lost hundreds of livestock, and he is certainly more fortunate than the 12 families in the Ballarat region whose homes have been totally razed.
"I'm surprised it wasn't more, actually," he said.
"This is on par with the worst fire I've ever seen."
Mr Hodgetts, also a CFA volunteer, was at home over the weekend when he saw smoke thicken and the flames race over the hilltop. The fire was well into the trees, flames four metres above the canopy.
In three minutes, he was geared up and in the car, driving to the firefront at Finns Road, to begin a tireless two days in operation.
"It was very active, it was running fast ... You could walk faster than the fire was going," he said.
"This is the first major fire we've had in my time here - 40 years - but it has to happen sooner or later, you know."