Australian Bushfires

Volunteer fireman in country Victoria today (Image Source:

My Dad lived in a native Bush area of Victoria when I was growing up.  We had kangaroos in the front yard each morning. 14 people were burnt to death in that area today with another 25 missing, possibly dead.

I was 12 during the 1983 fires in Victoria – known in Australia as ‘Ash Wednesday’  – when 75 people were killed across two states (Victoria 43 and South Australia 33).

I remember the sky going black – like it was night, then red. We went into the centre of the house together and I lay down on the floor.  We didn’t know how close it was. We had no car (I think my step-father was using it). Mum covered me with a blanket because as an asthmatic I was having trouble breathing the smoky air.

Turned out it wasn’t close at all.  But I never forget that feeling of deep fear watching the air burn around you and not knowing if it was coming or not.

These are some photographs taken today. (Images Source:

I remember the sky looking like this in 1983.

I remember the sky looking like this in 1983.

Country Fire Authority (staffed by volunteers) - Victoria

A family watches paddocks burn - Victoria.

A family watches paddocks burn - Victoria.


3 responses to “Australian Bushfires

  1. I remember Ash Wednesday in 1983 as well, from the SA perspective. Friends of our were trapped due to trying to get home from Adelaide but were stuck in the hills where the fires were raging.

    As you said, the sky was black and red, with ash and smoke everywhere.

    Yesterday reached 46.4C here in Melbourne, and I was unaware of the bushfires and tragedies until today. I think the head count is now 40….

  2. Head count is now 65 :(.

    mum said the fire is close to panton hill?

  3. Yes. Its truly horrible. No-one deserves to die such a death.

    The fires were all around Panton Hill – and the Prime Minister and State Premier gave their media address from the Kangaroo Ground CFA Fire Station. That’s about 3 minutes drive from where Elena and Jimmy were married and the next town from Panton Hill.

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