Summary

Digital photograph taken by Trevor Boyd on the fire front at Strathewen on Black Saturday, at 4.07pm, 7 February 2009, while on duty as a CFA volunteer. As 4th Lieutenant in the Plenty CFA brigade he led a tanker during the Black Saturday emergency and attempted to stop the fire front moving towards St Andrews. Trevor had three weeks leave from his paid work to assist in fire defence, searches, fire containment, mopping-up tasks and assisting bushfire survivors. Trevor intended that the CFA use the photos he took during the day as a teaching tool to develop volunteer firefighters situational awareness, and assist in their capacity to interpret, observe and redirect.

This photograph is one of ten images that Trevor offered as part of the community-led 'Bushfire Photo Exhibition' at the Bridges Restaurant/Nursery, Hurstbridge, held between February and March 2010.

Description of Content

The Kinglake 2 tanker is seen in the foreground with three fire fighters manning the hoses from one side of the tanker,working to put out the grass fire in the foreground. This fire went on to destroy the paddock and the alpaca livestock in the adjoining paddocks. The photograph shows a corner of a paddock off Hewitts Rd, Strathewen. Trevor took this photograph with a view to using it as a training tool, 'it is the sort of grass fire attack that is taught to recruits, with two hoses operating on either side; in this instance we used two hoses on one side.' Cluster fires were from 5-10 kilometres away, and the wind was extremely strong. Trevor saw the taking of the photograph as suitable 'for educational purposes, useful in a training suite, (also) part of history happening, an excellent example of a grassfire attack from a tanker.' (Interview, Trevor Boyd, 12 May 2012)

Physical Description

Digital photograph.

Significance

Statement of significance
The bushfires of Black Saturday, 7 February 2009 caused significant damage to personal, community and state infrastructure. This image demonstrates the localised experience of both potential and actual stock loss felt by many primary producers and landholders in the fire affected area.

Inclusion in the 'The Bushfire Photo Exhibition', held at Hurstbridge between February and March 2010, adds to this photo's historical significance, and provides an intimate and authentic insight of the events of Black Saturday, experienced within the St Andrews and Strathewen communities. Significance is also enhanced as this photo documents this photographers personal experience during the fires of 2009.

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