DEVASTATION: Children's play equipment is destroyed by fire at Ballandean.
DEVASTATION: Children's play equipment is destroyed by fire at Ballandean. Bianca Hrovat

EXCLUSIVE LOOK: The devastation of fire on Southern Downs

AS fires continue to rage across the Southern Downs, such areas as Applethorpe and Ballandean have taken a moment to assess the extent of the damage.

Some homes, such as one in Cyprus Ridge, were completely surrounded by fire as it took mere minutes to race up the side of a mountain.

Volunteer crews struggled to hold containment lines, dogs were readied for evacuation, and spot fires were jumping across into the paddock, where miniature horses still roamed.

But against all odds, that home was saved. One of the lucky ones.

View the gallery below to see how close fire came to total destruction.