Bushfires, Victoria, south eastern Australia - December 2006
One of the first lot of photos on this site before its redesign were images of the bushfires that broke out in Victoria in December 2006. This included the intensely coloured smoke clouds from the fires to the south and west of here, taken on 6 December. (The colours are real, never seen anything like it. Note even the apparent "sunset" in the south east some hours before the real sunset.)
Then four days later, I made a photographic chronicle of the start of the large fires that started near the Tawonga Gap road between Mount Beauty and Bright (see links on right). The photos clearly show how quickly a fire can spread from a small spark if left unchecked, and how fiercely it can burn. The volunteer fire fighters from our area were helping fight the huge fires about three hours away.
Most of these photos were taken from my front yard and my next-door neighbours' verandah, then later in the afternoon from the Mount Beauty pondage, a few blocks from home.
Four days later while the fire was still surrounding our town there was a particularly bad day and a spot fire broke out on the hill just behind my home. Despite the conditions, unlike the Tawonga Gap main fire, this time the firefighters were close at hand and able to extinguish the spotfire before it spread. The terrain was densely vegetated and extremely steep, making it impossible to enter on foot. So the fire was extinguished within a few hours by four or five helicopters dumping water and fire retardent (the dark liquid in the photos). (They were flying low directly over my house. The patrolling fire trucks stopped at my back fence so I snapped off a few shots of our valiant firefighters.)
The amazing colour and luminosity in the photos is true. The colour needed no tweaking. However many of the pictures here are likely to be of more interest for the subject matter rather than their technical quality because my main interest was to record the events.
Links to the bushfire photos are in the side bar on the right hand side of this page.