The Black Saturday fires started on 7 February 2009. Approximately 400 fires were recorded across Victoria affecting 78 communities. A total of 173 people died in the fires and 2029 houses were lost. Further information about the bushfire is available at the Black Saturday main page.
The most significant fire was the Kinglake Fire Complex, named following the merge of the Kilmore East and Murrindindi fires on 8 February. This forest crown fire swept through state forest and national parks with flames more than 30 metres high. The extreme temperatures and wind created convection clouds above the flames that further fuelled the fire and propelled embers far beyond the fire front.
Other major fires were at Bunyip, Horsham, Churchill, Redesdale, Narre Warren, Upper Ferntree Gully, Bendigo and Beechworth. People living in these communities were severely affected by the fires, experiencing extensive loss of life and property damage.