Blue Mountains News
Memories from the 2013 Blue Mountains bushfires to be captured in a book
On 17 October 2013 two bushfires burned through the Blue Mountains – one at Winmalee and Yellow Rock and one at Mount Victoria – destroying a total of 203 homes and damaging a further 286 homes.
A third fire started on 16 October at State Mine, near Lithgow, affecting communities in the Lithgow and Bilpin area, including Mount Wilson and Mount Irvine.
The fires were fought by local fire services and communities for around ten days; however, the impact of the fires is still ongoing, ten years on.
The community is invited to contribute by recording your memories, messages or thanks in the commemorative book.
The book will form part of the community’s collective memory of the fire and will be collated and kept at Springwood Library as part of the Local Studies Collection.
Blue Mountains Mayor Mark Greenhill said the 10-year anniversary of the fires commemorates "the resilience of the people who experienced that awful event, as well as the broader community who were also devastated by the impact".
“The memory that stands out the most for me is the incredible inspiration of the survivors of the fires, as well as the bravery and dedication of the emergency services,” Cr Greenhill said.
“Despite the worst of nature on display, I witnessed the very best of humanity, watching our community rally together. I draw inspiration from these wonderful people.
“Our memories of this devastating event run deep. They form part of our collective learning and can help us to build resilience. I encourage the community to record their memories, messages or thanks in this commemorative book.”
Federal Member for Macquarie, Susan Templeman, who lost her own home in Winmalee during the fires, said the anniversary will be one of very mixed emotions for many people.
“People will want to mark the anniversary in different ways, and I think this gives an opportunity to those who have memories and thoughts they might like to express and preserve to put them in writing, as we reach this ten year mark,” Ms Templeman said.
“Gratitude for the support that we received during and after the fires is still strongly felt by those who experienced losses. But I really encourage anyone who was involved – as a survivor, a neighbour, a volunteer, a first responder, a witness – to capture those memories.”
Pages of the book will be available for signing at the Springwood and Blackheath libraries from Tuesday, 17 October, until the end of November.
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