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Digital photograph - 'Car on Fire', Black Saturday Bushfires, St Andrews, Victoria, 7 Feb 2009 Image Reg. No: MM 117099

Digital photograph taken by Trevor Boyd on the fire front on Black Saturday, at 5.46pm, 7 February 2009, while on duty as a CFA volunteer. As 4th Lieutenant in the Plenty CFA brigade he led a tanker during the Black Saturday emergency and attempted to stop the fire front moving towards St Andrews. Trevor had three weeks leave from his paid work to assist in fire defence, searches, fire containment, mopping-up tasks and assisting bushfire survivors. Trevor intended that the CFA use the photos he took during the day as a teaching tool to develop volunteer firefighters situational awareness, and assist in their capacity to interpret, observe and redirect.

This photograph is one of ten images that Trevor offered as part of the community-led 'Bushfire Photo Exhibition' at the Bridges Restaurant/Nursery, Hurstbridge, held between February and March 2010. It is also published in the book 'Footsteps in the Ash' which documents St Andrews' and Strathewen's experiences during Black Saturday.
Digital photograph.
Statement Of Significance:
The bushfires of Black Saturday, 7 February 2009 caused significant damage to personal, community and state infrastructure. Personal property was destroyed and this image demonstrates an example of the type of loss experienced by communities throughout the fire affected area.

This image is significant as it comments on personal and community safety, the use of cars to escape the fire, and, the risks associated with escape. Sixteen people died in or near their cars on Black Saturday, and this image evokes the power and ferocity of fire sweeping through a vehicle. Inclusion in the 'The Bushfire Photo Exhibition', held at Hurstbridge between February and March 2010, and, as one of nineteen pictures chosen to be published in the book 'Footsteps in the Ash' adds to this photo's historical significance. The publication 'Footsteps in the Ash' can be seen as both an intimate and authentic account of the events of Black Saturday, experienced within the St Andrews and Strathewen communities by documenting this photographers personal experience during the fires.
Description Of Content:
This photograph shows the rear of a vehicle engulfed in flames and surrounded by dense bush.

Trevor's unit was called to assist in putting out a vehicle and house fire that threatened to spread. Trevor recalled that: 'The firestorm had recently passed over, causing the car's fuel tank and tyres to explode, the car was fully involved in the fire as the team arrived, so a decision was made to not waste the water on a car fire that was so intense with that much flame ... this image is an absolute reflection of the moment...The fire crew went on to save the house, and another vehicle on the property, which had fire involvement on both eastern and western sides; the tanker was unable to access the property so the fire was fought with the tender parked on the road, and hoses were training through the fence and house. Three tenders were involved in fighting the fire, they were Plenty, DSE, and another CFA unit...A large tree branch is burning on the ground at the rear of the vehicle. A wind change from North-East to South caused fire spotting on the southern side of the property.' (Interview, Trevor Boyd, 12 May 2012)

The car on fire was destroyed, but the house survived with some smoke and fire damage, due to the involvement of a tree on the south side of the house.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Mr Trevor Boyd
Discipline: History

More information

Tagged with: motor cars, bushfires, photography, natural environment, photographic exhibitions, natural disasters, photography exhibitions
Themes this item is part of: Images & Image Making Collection, Sustainable Futures Collection, Victorian Bushfires Collection
Primary Classification: SUSTAINABILITY
Secondary Classification: Natural Disasters
Tertiary Classification: bushfires
Format: Digital Still Image: Colour
Place & Date Depicted: St Andrews, Victoria, Australia, 7 Feb 2009
Photographer: Mr Trevor Boyd, St Andrews, Victoria, Australia, 7 Feb 2009
Place & Date Exhibited: Bridges Restaurant, Hurstbridge, Victoria, Australia, Feb 2010

As part of the Of 'Bushfire Photo Exhibition'. The exhibition catalogue included photograph name, photographer and details of sale price.
Organiser of Event: Ms Anita Norris, Arthurs Creek, Victoria, Australia, Feb 2010

Of 'Bushfire Photo Exhibition'
Author: Mr Jim Usher, St Andrews, Victoria, Australia, 2010

Photograph published in 'Footsteps in the ash: the story of St Andrews and Strathewen in the 2009 bushfires' by Jim Usher and Mac Gudgeon. St Andrews, Vic. 2010.
References: Fire Note Bushfire CRC and AFAC retrieved 10/8/11 (cited, 11.4.12)

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