Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday

16 February 2008

published by

Australia — Memorial services have been held across Australia today to mark the 25th anniversary of the Ash Wednesday bushfires, considered the worst bushfire disaster ever to hit Australia.

A total of 75 lives were lost across Victoria and South Australia on February 16, 1983.

The southern states were suffering from the driest period on record: searing 40 degree temperatures, low humidity and high wind gusts.

In all, 400,000 hectares of bushland, and more than 3,000 homes were consumed.

However, most of the damage was done in the first hour, after a south-westerly wind change late in the day.

More than 16,000 firefighters, 1,000 police and 500 army personnel attended the Ash Wednesday fires.


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