Fire in February: 4th Anniversary of Black Saturday
March 4, 2013
Summer in February will have brought painful memories for those directly affected by fires at Kinglake and other areas of Victoria on that fateful day, now known as ‘Black Saturday’, 7 February 2009. After twelve years of drought and a top temperature of 46.4°, it was not surprising that parts of Victoria turned into an inferno.
Kinglake-350 by Adrian Hyland, recounts the day’s events as experienced by a policeman who heroically led locals to safety. It is an amazing narrative, focusing on how the day unfolded for a small group of people whilst also paying tribute to many of those involved. It was impossible to put down until I knew that the terrible ordeal for the victims was over. You can read this in print or as an e-book.
Inferno: the day Victoria burned by Roger Franklin is another great book about the horrendous fires that occurred in other parts of the state that day.
For the offical view, the comprehensive 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission includes fire preparation, response, recovery and statements by lay witnesses.
The 30th anniversary of the ‘Ash Wednesday’ fires was also recognized this year. How much have we learnt from the fires that raged on 16 February 1983? How different were the experiences of the fire victims? It is interesting to make comparisons by looking at the Ash Wednesday encounter with fire in Aftermath of fire: a people’s triumph, by Morna Kenworthy.
These books bring home the shocking impact of these scorching fires, and are a moving tribute to and remembrance of the people caught in the midst of it all.
Written by Katherin.