Case study

Black Tuesday stories

View from 39 Brushy Creek Road, Lenah Valley Tasmania on the day of the fires, 7 February 1967.

Photograph courtesy of the Woolford family.

'67 Bushfires Storymap

Many in the Tasmanian community can still relate a story of the 1967 Tasmanian bushfires (Black Tuesday) based on their firsthand experience of the disaster. Others have had stories passed down to them through older relatives. Throughout 2016, the Tasmania Fire Service Bushfire-Ready Neighbourhoods program toured a video booth to collect stories.

In commemoration of the 50 year anniversary of the disaster, these stories are now available online as part of the '67 Bushfires Storymap. A small number of excerpts are available below; the full online resource contains over 250 stories. This project was made possible with assistance from Tasmania Fire Service partners at Bendigo Bank, TasNetworks, ABC, Cascade Brewery, Hydro Tasmania, Brighton Council, Kingborough Council, Derwent Valley Council, Glenorchy City Council, Huon Valley Council and Clarence City Council.

Excerpts from the '67 Bushfires Story Project

Content warning - viewers are advised that the stories and images below may be distressing to some people.


A fury never seen before, Sean Crane

This story was recorded by Sean in 2017.

The march to the army barracks, Ruth Mollisonn

A close encounter with a firestorm on Mount Wellington on Black Tuesday 1967. Ruth recalls vividly a family's scary encounter for such young children. This story was recorded in May 2016 at the Hobart LINC.

Vivid memories, Chris Hughes

School children fighting the fires! Chris shares his experience of fighting the Black Tuesday bushfires in Woodbridge in the southeast of Tasmania. This story was recorded in June 2016 at the Moonah Arts Centre.

1967 bushfires, Peter McKinley and Lyndell George

Peter McKinley, aged 81, with the assistance of his daughter Lyndell George, recalls his '67 bushfire experience. In February 1967 Peter worked for the Tasmania Film Corporation, Government Film Unit. Not only caught in the fire itself in Bellerive, Peter managed to save a young mother and baby, change a tire and film bushfires at West Hobart, Knocklofty Hill, Snug, Taroona, Sorell and other places of southeast Tasmania.

We were in trouble, Rosemary Wilkinson

Trapped in Fern Tree, Rosemary recollects her near escape from the bushfires of Black Tuesday in 1967. This story was recorded in January 2016 at the Taste Festival in Hobart.