The RFS is already warning of increased potential for grass fires this summer. So, despite the persistence of La Niña, it’s time to start preparing. To do that, there’s much we can learn from the past.
That’s the lesson from an oral history project conducted in Bundanoon, a village in the Southern Highlands of NSW on the edge of the Morton National Park. In 2020, the Morton Fire destroyed five houses in Bundanoon, caused many residents to evacuate not once but three or four times; damaged the Buddhist monastery; killed native fauna and severely burnt the bush.
In 2020 and 2021, the Bundanoon History Group interviewed 31 people – among them local residents, members of the RFS, NSW Fire and Rescue, Community Fire Units, shopkeepers, a GP, church rector and wildlife carers – about their experience during Black Summer. This video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2hUUeOyCAIE tells the story in their own words.
More about the project can be found at: https://bundanoonhistory.org.au/bushfires-2020/