Digital photograph taken by Trevor Boyd on the way to fire front at Strathewen on Black Saturday, at 4.03pm, 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

This photo shows dense smoke clouds from the Kinglake fires rolling over the suburb of Whittlesea. The contrast between the billowing smoke and the blue sky presents a stark and powerful image of the scale of the fire. The photo is taken just before the turnoff to Funfields Fun Park. The fire crew were on their way to the fires from Whittlesea; this photo is taken from Plenty Rd, Whittlesea, immediately north of Grants Road, looking to the north. Trevor noted 'We [the CFA] had no full appreciation of how bad the day was going to be... [we] couldn't predict the fire.' Trevor recalled that they had difficulty with communications on the day. They couldn't contact VicFire as there was so much radio traffic and it was difficult to find the strike team, (to discuss strategy and plan) he said 'the channel was chocablock'. (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. 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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