Scroll Top


Clear Filters

On February 16, the elderly Perce Jordan was writing at his desk in the coolest part of his house when the power cut out. Unfazed, he took his hearing aid off and went for a nap.

Marg was a key figure in the Red Cross response to the emergency while Alan was active with the Aireys Inlet CFA on the day. Ash Wednesday highlighted Marg’s expertise in providing for the needs of firemen and the community, and her actions during the evacuation from Aireys Inlet

Chris and Mirren and their 18 month old had just arrived to stay at the house of extended family in Fairhaven when Chris noticed smoke on the horizon behing Lorne.

Barbara’s parents were residents of Aireys Inlet, nearby whom she had built an illegal cabin on a bush block with her partner Chris.

Annie and her family enjoyed many good years visiting their acreage above Sunnymead beach before she watched the fire overcome their stretch of land on the television broadcast from Melbourne.

Jamie had just started with the Forests Commission in January of 1983 and was a member of the summer fire crew in Anglesea.

Jenny came down from Melbourne to discover her holiday house still standing, but other family homes destroyed. She reflects on the impact of the loss of collective history that can span generations.

In 1983 David Johnston was a newsreader with Channel 10 Eyewitness News. On February 16 he visited the Cockatoo fires and the following day he arrived in Aireys Inlet by helicopter.

For Ross, fire is a part of life down the coast. Ross was a member of the Aireys Inlet CFA operating between Cathedral Rock and Anglesea on Ash Wednesday. He has vivid recollections of working with Bill Bubb throughout the day and night, being confronted by noise and wind and flying gravel ‘like a mini cyclone.’

Pat took over the Aireys Inlet pub seven months before Ash Wednesday. He was in Lorne when the fire came through, before being escorted back to what remained of the Aireys pub the next day.

Generations of the Hughes family have enjoyed the natural environment of the Fairhaven area. On February 16 Howard was at the beach when he saw smoke in the direction of Lorne.

On February 16, Mark and his wife and their two young children were visiting the family beach house on Lialeeta Road in Fairhaven. In the morning they visited the beach, and later that afternoon the water at their house stopped running and they noticed smoke on the horizon in the direction of Lorne.