Digital photograph taken by Trevor Boyd on the fire front at Strathewen on Black Saturday at 4.07pm, 7 February 2009. Trevor works for VicRoads and is 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

This photograph shows several burning trees, wind-tossed branches, a mound of live embers and ash. An emergency services car is to the right, with the road is visible through the smoke. Some trees appear to have survived the fire storm with no obvious signs of fire damage or flames, demonstrating the unpredictability and power of a bushfire. A power pole can be seen in the background, Trevor recalled that 'so much of the tree was involved in the fire, the fallen debris is from the tree.' (Interview, Trevor Boyd, 12 May 2012)

Physical Description

Digital photograph.


The bushfires of Black Saturday, 7 February 2009 caused significant damage to personal, community and state infrastructure. The capturing of images of burning trees evokes the dramatic atmospheric and visual changes associated with natural disasters, and, the surprising beauty found within these moments. These images reveal and document the photographers own experience of the fires, imbuing each image with the personal reflection of a significant historical moment. Historical significance is embedded in the image as it reflects a moment in time when destruction was imminent, and, allows the photographer to reveal an individual interpretation of the direct impact of a bushfire. 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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