PHOTO: Goulburn man David Harrison

Goulburn man David Harrison has been hailed a “hero” after he died helping his friend Geoff defend his property against the catastrophic blaze that overran Batlow yesterday.Residents returned to the fire-ravaged town to grim scenes today, the charred Big Apple on the way into the historic town symbolic of the devastation unleashed by yesterday’s catastrophic blaze.Dead wildlife and livestock lie strewn along the roads  – a number of which remain closed – and farmers have begun the harrowing task of loading the carcasses into their utes.

David Harrison died of a heart attack while helping a friend defend his property against the Dunns Road fire. (9NEWS)