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Recurring History of Bushfires in Victoria
Image: Digital Photograph - Man with Burned out Strezlecki Ranges Behind Him, Won Wron, 1914
Source: Museum Victoria
In February 2009 Victoria experienced the most deadly bushfires in Australia's recorded history. The fires reached their peak on Black Saturday, 7th February, and took an unprecedented toll: 173 people lost their lives and 414 were injured.
A key item collected by Museum Victoria in 2009 was a chimney from Kinglake. This not only documents the impact of the February 2009 bushfires, it was also a witness to the Black Sunday bushfires that burnt through Kinglake on 1st February 1926, and so represents the long and recurring history of bushfires in Victoria.
While bushfires occur every year, some have a devastating impact on communities and landscapes. The most catastrophic of these bushfires have been named after the day of the week in which they occurred; for example: Black Thursday 1851, Black Monday 1865, Black Sunday 1926, Red Tuesday 1898, Black Friday 1939, Ash Wednesday 1983 - and now Black Saturday 2009.
Bushfires threaten life and property but also regenerate Victoria's eucalyptus forests. They are a natural and essential feature of our ecosystem. The fire-dependent eucalypt forests of Victoria, together with drier and more extreme weather conditions, make this the one of the most fire-prone places on earth.
As climate is becoming more variable and more people are living closer to bushland, fire will continue to impact our lives and shape our history.
Collecting & Rebuilding the Black Saturday Chimney
'The Uplands' Homestead, Kinglake, 1890s-2009
Stories Revealed Through Bricks & Mortar
Victorian Bushfires Collection
Healesville Primary School Bushfire Artworks Collection
The Romsey Australia website, Summary of major Bushfires Since 1851, http://home.iprimus.com.au/foo7/firesum.html, viewed 25-11-2009.
(showing 1 - 4) 4 items
The Warmbrunn family at their home, 'Tarilta', in Upper Beaconsfield, during World War I. The house was of wattle and daub construction and was lost in the 1983 Ash Wednesday bushfires. ...From: Beaconsfield Upper, Australia Images: 1
This photograph shows John Joseph 'JJ' O'Connor, looking out onto the Strezlecki Ranges after a bushfire fire, Won Wron, Gippsland, circa 29 September 1914. The O'Connor family were a l ...Images: 1
This photograph shows John Joseph 'JJ' O'Connor, on the road droving sheep, Gippsland, circa 1916-1918. He and the photographer Dr. Pern had been in business together. They were raising ...Images: 1
Black and white cellulose acetate negative.From: Lavers Hill, Australia Images: 1