"Firestorm Alley"

The following information was received from a resident of Weston Creek. It is published with permission and due acknowledgment.

In view of the Spatial Plan proposal for a residential area around Mt Stromlo, I feel that the research listed below should be considered. I feel that history speaks for itself.

Only the larger fires affecting the Stromlo or Woden region have been researched. There were quite probably many smaller ones.

27 December 1903 (Sunday)—Yarralumla Station (Holder) Fire

27 January 1926 (Friday)

11 September 1927 (Sunday)

13 January 1939 (Friday)

25 January 1952 (Thursday)

25 January 1952 (Friday)

5 February, 1952 (Tuesday)

24 December 2001

I cannot see any reasoning behind PALMs proposal for the Stromlo area. The majority of the large fires had their beginnings behind or around the Uriarra/Cotter area and were swept by gale force winds towards Mt Stromlo, Weston Creek or Woden. One fire, 11 Sep 1927, occurred in winter. It appears that PALM wishes to have a re-occurrence of the 18 January 2003 bushfire, for, if a residential area is built, what has happened in the past will happen again, and again. The Uriarra area is a wind corridor that drives any fire behind or around Uriarra towards Mt Stromlo and beyond.

Furthermore, history has also proved pine plantations to be absolutely vulnerable. Please note that in the 5 Feb 1952 fire, willie willie’s of flames also occurred, as they did in the recent disaster.

If the entire area is left for grazing, we, living presently in the above areas, may have a better chance of survival. After researching the above, I am wondering why Weston Creek was built in the first place.

I also feel that the Weston Creek community should be made aware of the bushfire history of Weston Creek so that they may be able to formulate their own opinions and points of view.

Yours sincerely,
Patricia Frei, ADLAAH

[1] Canberra Times, Friday, 1 Jan, 1904.
[2] Sydney Morning Herald, 29 Jan 1926.
[3] The Sun, [Sydney], 28 Jan 1926.
[4] The Sun, [Sydney], 29 Jan 1926
[5] Sunday Sun, 31 Jan 1926.
[6] The Canberra Times, Tues., 13 Sep 1927.
[7] Queanbeyan Age, Tues., 17 Jan 1939.
[8] The Canberra Times, Mon., 16 Jan 1939.
[9] Queanbeyan Age, Tues., 17 Jan 1939.
[10] The Canberra Times, Mon., 16 Jan 1939.
[11] Queanbeyan Age, Tues., 17 Jan 1939.
[12] Ibid.
[13] The Canberra Times, Mon., 16 Jan 1939.
[14] Goulburn Evening Penny Post, Mon., 16 Jan 1939.
[15] The Canberra Times, Sat., 26 Jan 1952
[16] Ibid., Mon., 28 Jan 1952.
[17] Ibid., Wed., 6 Feb 1952.
[18] Ibid., Thur., 7 Feb 1952.
[19] Christmas 2002, Bushfires in the ACT website as viewed 24 May 2003.

Last updated 4 November 2014