Digital photograph taken by Trevor Boyd on the fire front at Musk and Musk Vale near Daylesford after Black Saturday, at 2.28pm on Sunday 22 February 2009. Trevor was Strike Team leader on this day, and was in charge of an ultralight tanker, with a crew of two.

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 this period 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 photo features a burning tree being consumed by fire, surrounded by a tangle of smouldering and flaming branches. There is flying debris in the air and the wind direction is visible through the direction of the flames and leaves. A dead tree is in the foreground in the shape of a fork, hence the title 'Devils Fork'. Trevor recalled that 'the fire was intense, the smoke was large and dense, but not of the same magnitude as those of Black Saturday. The winds were hot and high, and the addition of very dry bush after ten years of drought made the fire intense, and this image is of the power of such a fire. The fire was burning a whole lot of fine twigs in bushes, they were blackwoods or wattles that catch alight very quickly, and flare up quickly and fires of this sort behave very differently, with a higher intensity and more volatile... with these sort of fires you try to stop the spread of the fire rather than fight tree by 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 its 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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