Major bushfires for the Forests Commission in 1982-83.

1982-83 was a long and hectic fire season for the Forests Commission with 823 fires and the total area burnt of 486,030 ha, which was well above the 11-year average of 141,000 ha.

Ash Wednesday on 16 February 1983 was only part of the story.

The main fires within the Fire Protected Area (FPA), which stretched over nine months, are listed below.

I have dredged out the dusty FCV files from the public records office, and over the next few weeks I will post stories about some of them.

I have already written about a few major bushfires like Bright, Cann River and Upper Beaconsfield

This Sunday will begin with a forensic analysis of what happened at Greendale on 8 January 1983 when two experienced FCV machine operators, Des Collins and Alan Lynch, were tragically killed when fire overran them.

But I’m very conscious that these stories may be upsetting for some people.

I plan to have a free ebook ready for the 40th anniversary of Ash Wednesday next year.

August 1982.

· Horsham / Little Desert – 3,400 ha.

November 1982.

· Heyfield / Seaton – 12,800 ha.

· Nowa Nowa / Murrindal – 3,400 ha.

· Mildura / Annuello– 10,000 ha.

· Bruthen / Nowa Nowa (Mt. Elizabeth) – 33,270 ha.

· Broadford / Mt. Disappointment – 20,950 ha.

· Bright Plantation – 675 ha.

December 1982.

· Horsham / Dimboola – 1,470 ha.

· Mildura / Big Desert / Wyperfeld – 17,800 ha.

January 1983.

· Daylesford / Greendale # 24 – 15,940 ha.

· Cann River Fire # 12 – 127,200 ha.

February 1983

· Macedon – 6,100 ha.

· Ash Wednesday fires including:

  • Deans Marsh / Lorne / Anglesea – 41,200 ha
  • Moonlight Head – 1,440 ha
  • Cudgee / Ballangeich – 50,000 ha.
  • East Trentham / Macedon – 29,500 ha
  • Belgrave South / Upper Beaconsfield – 9,200 ha
  • Cockatoo – 1,833 ha
  • Warburton – 44,500 ha

· Nug Nug – 688 ha.

· Mt. Baw Baw – 59 ha. Village saved with a drop of retardant from MAFFS.

· Stawell – 3,280 ha. During the last weeks of February about 50 fires began from lightning strikes. The largest fire was Mount Staplyton.

March 1983.

· Cann River Fire # 16 – 126,100 ha.

· State-wide – About 45 lightning strikes started mostly small fires that were quickly brought under control.

· Loch Sport – 1,900 ha, over two days on 10 and 11 March a fire burnt between Seacombe and Loch Sport on the southern side of Lake Victoria.

April 1983.

· Grampians – 6,400 ha. On 22 April under warm and windy conditions a fire burnt in the southern Grampians.

1983 bushfires within the Fire Protected Area (FPA). This map does not include major fires primarily on private land fought by the CFA such as Cudgee/Ballangeich near Warrnambool.

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