NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN (ALMOST)
16th January, 1939 : The death toll is still rising as the worst fires in Victoria’s history rage through the State, from the South Australian border, the Western District and on to Gippsland and parts of New South Wales. The confirmed death toll is 64, and scores are still missing. Twelve bodies have been recovered in the Rubicon timber belt, and another seven people died when they were trapped in cars on the Acheron Way, a few miles from Narbethong. A whole family was lost near Noojee, and many of the victims have been trapped in timber mills throughout the state. On Friday, as the heights of the Matlock Forest were swept by flames, 15 people died at one mill alone. Whole townships have been wiped out; the damage to property, houses and timber is running into millions of pounds. Thousands of cattle have been burned to death.
The Bush Fire Brigade spokesman claims that in some areas where there was ample warning, lives were lost that could have been saved.