Fire on the Limestone Plains/Bush Fires/The 1956-57 Bushfire Season

The 1956-57 Bushfire SeasonEdit

From December 1956 to January 1958 dry condition prevailed in the F.C.T. however there were no days of extreme fire danger. Bush fires were frequent and some reached 20,000 hectares in N.S.W.[1][2][3] In the F.C.T. the largest was the Hall fire which burnt around 1,500 hectares.[4][5]

The Prescribed Bushfire Period commenced in 1 November 1956 and was closed on 28 February 1957 in the A.C.T.; However dry conditions set in early at Jervis Bay and the Prescribed Period declared on 4 October 1956.

The 1956 winter and spring were marked with extremely heavy rainfall and mild temperatures which promoted prolific growth. A long dry spell was experienced from mid-November. A Total Fire Ban was imposed in the A.C.T. and Jervis Bay from 7 January through to 31 January 1957.

There was very little rain during the autumn and winter of 1957, resulting in many outbreaks in the grass country, including Black Mountain on 11 May 1957 (2,500 acres) & Blue Gum Creek near Tharwa on 13 May 1957 (2,500 acres)

There were a total of 70 fires attended by Bush Fire Council units, of which 15 were in adjoining N.S.W. and 4 at Jervis Bay. The major bush fires in N.S.W. included

  • Captain's Flat (N.S.W.) - 20 December 1956 (1,000 acres)
  • Narrangullen near Wee Jasper (N.S.W.) - Saturday 29 December 1956 (10,000 acres)
  • Kershaw's property, Gundaroo-Bungendore Road (N.S.W.) - Monday 31 December 1956 (6,500 acres)
  • 3 miles south of Williamsdale - west side of railway line (N.S.W.) - 4 January 1957 (2,000 acres + 300 sheep)
  • West of Brindabella near "Brokenheart" (N.S.W.) - Saturday 5 to 23 January 1957 (5,000 acres)
  • Gundaroo-Collector Road (N.S.W.) - 22 March 1957 (1,000 acres) [6]

ReferencesEdit

  1. "Homestead And Truck Burned Near Sutton". The Canberra Times. 1 January 1957. http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/91230866. 
  2. "BUSH FIRES APPROACH TERRITORY". The Canberra Times. 16 January 1957. http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/91232070. 
  3. "Raging Grass Fire Sweeps 40,000 Acres". The Canberra Times. 21 January 1957. http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/91232446. 
  4. "Big Grass Fire Sweeps Farms At Ginninderra". The Canberra Times. 11 January 1957. http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/91231774. 
  5. Luke, R. H. (R. Harry); McArthur, A. G. (Alan Grant), 1923-1978; Australia. Forestry and Timber Bureau; CSIRO. Division of Forest Research (1978), Bushfires in Australia, Australian Government Publishing Service, ISBN 978-0-642-03990-3 
  6. A.C.T. Bush Fire Council Annual Report 1956-57