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Fire Campaigns - Campaign Fires 2003-2006

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Fire Campaigns - 2009 Black Saturday

One of the worst fires in the history of Australia were the 2009 Black Saturday Fires.  The Black Saturday bushfires were a series of bushfires that ignited or were burning across Victoria on and around Saturday, 7 February 2009.  This day coincided with the worst bush-fire-weather conditions ever recorded. Extreme heat, high winds, low humidity, and severe drought were all factors in fanning the flames on that tragic day.  This fire threatened the township of Toolangi, and most of Castella was impacted by the fire. Toolangi was saved due to a wind change.  The Fire that threatened Toolangi was started by a faulty power pole near Kilmore East just north of Kinglake West.  This fire destroyed the townships of Kinglake, Kinglake West, Pheasant Creek, St Andrews, Strathewen, with many other townships being impacted.  Another fire was also started by a faulty power pole at Murrundindi 20 kms south of Yea.  This fire destroyed a number of towns including Marysville and Narbathong.   Click here to see a map overview of the 2009 Black Saturday Fires

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The outer suburbs of Melbourne were in the direct pathway of these fires.  If the wind didn't change that day, then the outer eastern suburbs of Warrandyte and Donvale would have been impacted, along with other small communities.  These suburbs are semi rural communities with homes nestled into the hilly terrain bushland.  Warandyte in particular has few major roads and a network of narrow unmade roads.  The CFA would have been very hesitate to take teams into the area, if the fires hadn't changed direction.

Toolangi was described as being the hole in the donut.  We had fire burning on all sides of the town.  We had the Murrindindi Fire to the north east of the town along with the Kilmore fire to the north west and south of the Town.  We lost the power and phone service for approxmately 10 days and we were isolated with no traffic allowed (local only allowed) for 3 weeks.


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