Our knowledge of this fire comes from an account written by Edward Knight Brown of 'Painui' not long after the fire occurred and kindly lent by Helen Naylor. The following is a summary.

Summer was hot and dry and the grass was all burnt from the heat and hot dry winds. On the morning of 13th December, Edward's two sons set out on horseback for Bell Station with the cattle, which were to be sent by rail to Mudgee. There were bush fires in every direction with a 'howling' North West wind. When they reached Mt Wilson 'they had to rush the cattle into the fire to get them through, after a break back on the part of the mob, causing no small anxiety to the drivers'.

Back at Mt Irvine Edward was checking the spring to make sure the water supply was in order when black smoke from the west darkened the sky and flames a half mile wide appeared. His first thought was for 20 milking cows and he ran through falling branches and bark to their paddock which was by this time ablaze. Some cows were missing and nothing could be done for the silo so, with cinders falling and Edward's shirt catching fire, the cattle were rushed down the hill to the homestead. Meanwhile his daughter had rounded up most of the sheep to safety.

Dead stumps in the clearing round the house had caught fire and from the homestead they could see that the sawmill on their neighbours property (the Andersons, below Mt Irvine Road opposite 'Painui') was on fire. Mrs Anderson and her 2 children fled to 'Painui', having lost everything apart from what they were wearing. A log fence near the barn caught fire and the family and their assistant, Alfred Howe, worked to keep the buildings (barn, house, stable, cart shed) from burning. The children meanwhile 'screamed themselves almost into fits'. Fires started in all the buildings but fortunately at different times and they had a good water supply. Only a few outplaces were burnt.

At 6.00pm the wind changed and everyone collapsed on the lawn, exhausted. Not long after a whirlwind came along, gathered up all the embers and once again buildings were threatened by a shower of burning embers. It took an hour before the buildings were safe. At 11.00pm the two sons arrived home with their horses.

The fire continued for several days around them but they were out of danger. All the fences were damaged, the log fences destroyed, nearly all the grass destroyed, the crops smashed down with debris, 6 acres of oats scorched, all the shelter sheds burned and numerous fruit trees scorched. On Friday 17th they cut the oats to feed the now almost starving stock. Some of the fat lambs were sent to Sydney and all except for 6 of the cows were turned out into the unburnt scrub to look after themselves. This all but closed down the diary. The following Wednesday the rain started – 14 inches in 60 hours, sweeping away hundreds of tons of soil from the orchard.

Within a fortnight Mt Irvine had experienced drought, fire and flood.