Bush fire-fighting efforts – from 70 years ago

Friday 18 Mar 2022

A couple of weeks ago we built in links to three extensive reports covering three major bush fires in Australia. Collectively they burnt over 120 million ha compiled and written by John O’Donnell, a former forester with the then NSW Forestry Commission.

One of the three fires referred to occurred during the 1951-52 fire season, where extensive areas were burnt in both forest and pastoral areas extending from central Queensland through eastern New South Wales and the mountain forests of Victoria to the South Australian border.

This season was the most severe experienced in Queensland and New South Wales during the period of review (1945–1975). The total number of fires during this season in New South Wales was conservatively estimated by the Forestry Commission of New South Wales at around 5000 and the total area burnt at 4.5 million ha.

John has also compiled thirty images from those days from the Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales and Courtesy ACP Magazines Ltd. The author cannot ascertain the location/ s of the bushfires in these images, most likely in Victoria or NSW, possibly Queensland, or possibly a number of states. All bushfire images were from burning on 25 January 1952.

To check out these amazing images click here.

Source: John O’Donnell

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