History of Bushfire Brigades in the Australian Capital Territory

Fire Controllers 1927-1989

Brigade Officers 1990-2000

In December 1903 two bush fire brigades were formed, they were the Limestone Plains Brigade and The "Majura Corps" (from the Queanbeyan Age).

From the Age (Queanbeyan) during January, February and April 1905, there are number of references to Canberra Bush Fires Prevention Committee, which was made up of landed proprietors, these included Mr. Geo. Southwell, Mr. Sam Shumack, Mr. E. E. Hudson, Mr. G. Hatch, Mr. E. G Crace, Mr. Fred. Campbell and Mr. D. McDonald as secretary and treasurer.

Sometime after Limestone Plains Brigade and the "Majura Corps" formed the Weetangara Fire Brigade was also formed. The Queanbeyan Age Tuesday 18th January 1910 reports "The Weetangara Fire Brigade burnt several firebreaks around the various holdings before Christmas. Mr. Crace kindly lent his fire-fighter for the purpose."

Establishing Bush Fire Brigades

During the 1943/44 Bush Fire Season, 2 Fire Protection Associations were formed under the aegis of ACT Bush Fire Council, Mulligan’s Flat Bush Fire Brigade being the first, followed by the Weetangera Bush Fire Brigade.

The boundaries of the Fire Districts were altered during the 1944/45 Bush Fire Season, the most important was to create the new Fire District of Hall. Two new Fire Protection Associations were also formed, the Hall Bush Fire Brigade and the Tuggeranong Bush Fire Brigade.

A fire-fighting unit was formed by the Parks and Gardens Section of the Department of the Interior in the 1950/51 Bush Fire Season.

The Tidbinbilla Bush Fire Brigade was formed at a meeting held on 25 February 1951 at Mr H Woods' homestead. There were 14 local residents at that meeting. The Tidbinbilla Bush Fire Brigade was formally recognised by ACT BFC in September 1951. As a result the Tidbinbilla Bush Fire Brigade recommended amendments to the Fire district boundaries that being that the area between Paddy’s River and Gibralter Creek be transferred from the Tharwa Fire district to the Tidbinbilla Fire District.

The 1952/53 Bush Fire Season saw the establishment of Bush Fire Brigades in the Fairlight and the Rivers Fire Districts, in the Woden Fire District, and in the Kambah Fire District.

The bush fire fighting force in the A.C.T. has been strengthened by the formation of another brigade to cover the Fairlight-The Rivers district.
The inaugural meeting of the Fairlight brigade was held or Wednesday night, and was attended by the Chairman of the A.C.T. Bush Fire Council (Mr R. G. Kappler) and the Chief Fire Control Officer (Mr. C. R Cole).
Office-bearers in the new brigade are: President, Mr. N. Milson; secretary, Mr. D. Hyles committee, Messrs. J. W. Webb C. R. Retallack, E. G. McMurtrie and V. Buckmaster.

The Canberra Times Friday 4 July 1952

The Woden Bush Fire Brigade's had its inaugural meeting on July 16 1952. The Brigade was formed after the devastating fires swept through the Jerrabomberra Valley area earlier that year. Its first AGM was held on September 17 1952.

The Woden Bush Fire Brigade was formed last week —the second brigade to be formed in recent weeks. Its executive is president Mr. J. W. Butt, fire controller Mr. W. Butt, deputy fire controller Mr. J. Garran, executive members Messrs. C. Russell and B. Pini.

The Canberra Times Friday 30 July 1952

The Majura Bush Fire Brigade was formed and its inaugural meeting was held on 11 December 1956. Mr W. A. Taylor was elected president with Mr A. A. McIntosh Secretary-Treasurer, and Mr A. McKeahnie and Mr A. Sells Executive Members.

The Williamsdale Bush Fire Brigade was formed in 1957, with Mr Bruce Moore President / Fire Controller and Mr Frank Smith Secretary / Treasurer.

In November 1966 a new volunteer Brigade was formed in the Naas district.

A new rural fire brigade has been formed to cover the Naas region. A spokesman for the Department of the Interior said yesterday that in view of the forecast and high fire hazard this season, the brigade was an important fire safety measure. The meeting that led to the formation of the brigade was organised by Mr V. Jeffrey of Tharwa and had elected Mr D. P. McKenzie as chairman and fire controller and Mr B. Ritchard as secretary.

The Canberra Times Friday 11 November 1966

Re-establishing the Bush Fire Brigades

Hall Volunteer Bushfire Brigade

Jerrabomberra Volunteer Bushfire Brigade

Southern Districts Volunteer Bushfire Brigade

Rivers Volunteer Bushfire Brigade

Guises Creek Volunteer Bushfire Brigade

Tidbinbilla Volunteer Bushfire Brigade

The Mount Stromlo Fire Brigade

A.C.T. Forests Brigade

A.C.T. Parks & Conservation Brigade

Gungahlin Volunteer Bushfire & Emergency Service Brigade

Molonglo Volunteer Bushfire & Emergency Service Brigade

Last updated 4 November 2014