RICHARD Dennis' voice cracks with emotion as he tries to explain the impact of losing 190 cattle in the Gippsland fires.
He and wife Dianne said about 100 cattle died in the blaze that swept through Seaton and Dawson on Friday morning.
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Forty injured animals have been put down since the fire and another 50 are likely to be euthanised by the end of the week.
The Angus producers saved their house by battling the blaze through the night, along with sons Scott and Chris and CFA crews, but almost a quarter of their cattle were not so lucky.
The couple, who run a commercial operation alongside their Truro Angus stud, was devastated by the stock deaths.
"You have to understand the passion I have for my livestock," Mr Dennis said.
They also lost two sets of cattle yards and only 30ha of their 760ha operation was not scorched.
"I built this laneway by myself when I was 18," second-generation farmer Richard said as he surveyed kilometres of blackened and useless fences.
The family saved about 700 rolls of hay with their hay shed, which they attribute to meticulous fire preparation after the 2006-07 Gippsland fires.
"Since 2006-07 we learnt a lot and we (did) a lot of work ... we had over 600 litres of water on mobile units, but the spot fires that came in were like a machine gun," Richard said
He couldn't contain the tears as he talked of what else he might have done to save the stock, but several decisions he made in the dead of night saved other parts of the farm.
"I made a judgment call and I was pleased with what I did."