Digital photograph taken by Trevor Boyd on the fire front at Strathewen on Black Saturday at 5.25pm, 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 and fallen tree trunks, with wind-tossed branches, surrounded by burnt out undergrowth. Live embers can be seen at the foot of some of the the trees, and in the ash. There are some trees still standing that have no obvious signs of flames or fire damage on them. The incident in which the Plenty Tanker was involved in the burnover was only 1/2 an hour later, Trevor noted 'the smoke changed over time, with heavy black smoke present at the time the photo was taken, The flames emanating from the trunk is leaping one metre off the tree in an horizontal direction.' (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 this photo 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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