Today marks 39 years since the Ash Wednesday bushfires devasted large parts of the Surf Coast. There were over 100 fires fanned by hot winds of up to 110 km/h (68 mph) sweeping across Victoria and South Australia, killing 75 people and causing widespread damage.
Fire tore through the Otways and the Surf Coast, claiming homes and lives and threatening many others. Three people were killed in the region, and 730 homes lost. Sadly, trying to keep us safe 14 Country Fire Authority (CFA) and three Country Fire Service (CFS) volunteer firefighters died across both states that day.
The terrifying event is etched forever in the memory of many in our region.