Marysville is a small town, 86 kilometres north-east of Melbourne, in the Shire of Murrindindi in Victoria, Australia. The town, which previously had a population of around 500 people, was devastated by the Murrindindi Mill bushfire on 7 February 2009. On 19 February 2009 the official death toll was 45. Around 90% of the town's buildings were destroyed. Residents able to leave the town just prior to the fire were directed to a temporary relief centre at Alexandra High School. Others sheltered overnight in Gallipoli Park before being evacuated to Alexandra.
The entire town was declared a crime scene and was effectively closed off while Victorian and Federal police recovered bodies and conducted investigations. It was reopened to the public on 23 March, 2009. As with all town in bushland settings, Marysville was in constant threat of bushfires. The town came under serious threat during the Black Friday bushfires in 1939, with residents seeing the fire cross from Mt Gorden to Mount Margaret. At that time only one house in Marysville belonging to Stan Postlethwaite was destroyed. The No.1 Mill 5 miles from Marysville was destroyed and the town of Narbethong was wiped out.
The Ash Wednesday fires of 1983 also came close to Marysville but burnt around the town and caused no damage to property. These photos I've taken of the magnificent forests around Marysville were snapped before the last tragic bushfire, which essentially wiped out the town, and the effects of which you can see in the "after" photo...
Australian Eucalyptus trees ("gum trees") dominate the tree flora of Australia. There are more than 700 species of eucalyptus, mostly native to Australia, and a very small number are found in adjacent areas of New Guinea and Indonesia. Many of the forest tree species grow to heights of more than 60 metres. Eucalyptus oil is highly flammable (ignited trees have been known to explode); bushfires can travel easily through the oil-rich air of the tree crowns. Eucalypts obtain long-term fire survivability from their ability to regenerate from epicormic buds situated deep within their thick bark, or from lignotubers, or by producing serotinous fruits. The seeds of many eucalypts will only germinate after being subjected to intense heat. See here for the benefits of bushfires in the Australian bush.
This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Trees & Bushes meme,
and also part of the Friday Greens meme.