Fire on the Limestone Plains/Bush Fires/The Gudgenby Bush Fire 1983

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The Gudgenby Bush Fire 1983[edit | edit source]

In early January 1983 a severe bush fire started near My Kelly, in the South-West corner of the A.C.T.

From the 1982-83 ACT Fire Council Annual Report -

One of the largest and most difficult fires ever experienced in the A.C.T. started near My Kelly, in the South-West corner of the A.C.T., on the evening of 8 January 1983 or early the following morning. The cause is unknown. Initial detection of the fire was seriously delayed because of poor visibility caused by heavy dust in the area on the morning of 9 January. A helicopter was dispatched immediately after the fire was reported, by the time the fire was located it had already burnt 400 hectares and was spreading rapidly into inaccessible terrain.
Although most damage occurred in the first 24 hours, rugged terrain and difficult access often prevented fire fighters from taking advantage of periods of favourable weather conditions. This resulted in the fire continuing and causing additional suppression problems when the weather conditions again worsened.
The main fire was finally contained 22 days later on 30 January, within 140 kilometers of new and existing firetrails where backburning had been carried out. Apart from two spot fires which caused problems, the fire was successfully held within these breaks.
Although the fire burnt 360 square kilometers (36 000 hectares), it did not assume the characteristics of what is known as a disaster fire - there was no loss of life or substantial economic loss (the only real economic loss was 300 hectares of pine plantation), however, there was a major cost with the labour component of the prolonged suppression effort.[1]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. A.C.T. Bushfire Council Annual Report 1982-83