Black Friday 1939 – What did we learn?

be alert everyone and enact your fire safety plans now

otwaylifemagazine

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Nearly 80  Years Since Black Friday – What Have We Learned?

Until the fires of Black Saturday 2009, the Black Friday fires of 13 January 1939, in Victoria, Australia, were considered one of the worst natural bushfires (wildfires) in the world.

Almost 20,000 km² (4,942,000 acres, 2,000,000 ha) of land was burnt, 71 people died, several towns were entirely destroyed and the Royal Commission that resulted from it led to major changes in forest management. Over 1,300 homes and 69 sawmills were burnt and a total of 3,700 buildings were destroyed.

It was calculated that three quarters of the State of Victoria was directly or indirectly affected by the disaster. The Royal Commission into the fires was to note, “it appeared the whole State was alight on Friday, 13 January 1939”.

The Otway Ranges

Several fires were deliberately lit in the ranges south of Colac in early January 1939. By…

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