The Project

We want to tell the story of the 1965 fires. The fires affected people from as far afield as Valencia Creek, Dargo, Omeo and Bruthen yet there is little information on the public record.

We want people to share their stories, photos and memories of the event, the people you helped, or who helped you, and the places affected.

If you were a child at the time what are your memories. Did you have to join the fight, help your parents? Or did you have to be evacuated?

What was the aftermath and clean up like?

What changed after the fires? What did people do differently? What did agencies do differently?

Remembering the 1965 Bushfires – Valencia Creek Hall 1 March 2020

It was a packed hall at Valencia Creek for the launch of Peter McHugh’s booklet commemorating the 55th anniversary of the 1965 Gippsland Bushfires. The booklet was the result of extensive research, dozens of interviews, and contributions to a online mapping tool –  The launch gave people who experienced the fires the opportunity to catch up with old acquaintances and to share their stories and memorabilia. The fires went from 16 February to late March and burnt more than 740,000 acres from Valencia Creek to Bruthen. CFA Brigades came from all over the state to help East Gippslanders out and the Army and Air Force were called in to assist when a State of Emergency was declared on March 5. Despite their significance no consolidated account or official map of the fires existed. However Social Pinpoint mapping, interviews with community members and local staff as well as trawling through historical records has enabled the recreation of the boundaries of the event and the capturing of stories that continue to play such an part in the folklore of East Gippsland. The book – 1965 Gippsland Bushfires: A reconstruction of events from February to March 1965 –  gives a fascinating picture of the resources the Forests Commission and the CFA had available to fight fires and the account of reviews following the fires sounds all too familiar.
Valencia Creek Hall – March 1st
To register your interest go to


Remembering the 1965 Bushfires – the booklet

Remembering the 1965 Bushfires by Peter McHugh was launched at the Valencia Creek Hall on 1st March 2020.  Click on the image below to open a copy.  You can also download it from Peter’s Forestry Heritage website where you’ll find it amongst at wealth of other information at the General Publications section of the Resources page.



Valencia Creek Hall – March 1st

To register your interest go to


How you can contribute

Add your memories to the Social Pinpoint Map

Join one of the discussion forums at

Email your stories and pictures to

Interview people who lived through the fires and get permission to share their stories with us (by video or audio)

Upload your photos to this site

Upload your videos/audios about the fires to youtube and send us a link

The Team

We are a group of people with an interest in local history. We are working with government agencies, volunteer groups and communities to try to recapture the story of the fires.

We want to set up a permanent memorial that acknowledges people’s experiences of the events and the effects they had on daily lives.

We hope that by doing so, the people who lived through the fires, are able to leave us with a legacy of the experiences gained and the lessons learnt so we can take that knowledge in to the future.

We welcome new members to the team who might be interested in contributing to or growing this project.