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Bush fires

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Wednesday 4 January 1905, The Advertiser (Adelaide)




Sydney, January 3.

Telegrams from the country show that the bush fires still continue to burn fiercely, but with the rain that has fallen the hope is entertained that they will soon be extinguished.

Some Sydney visitors had a sensational experience at Thirrol on the south coast. They were camped at Muddy Creek, when the fire swept upon their camp. Their parents were away at the time, and when they returned to Thirrol in the evening they were horrified at seeing the mountains all ablaze, and thick with smoke. Securing a horse and buggy they drove through an almost impassable piece of country, and found the children at Lodden Falls, safe, but they had lost everything except what they had on.

A telegram from Hillgrove states that a bush fire at Metz is burning furiously, and threatening the town. The cemetery was swept last night, and three houses were burned this morning – Chaifey’s, Bindley’s, and Roberts’. A telephone message received at Hillgrove, asked for volunteers to assist to save the town. The residence of T. Ince was destroyed. The Metz-road and the Armidale-road, between Hillgrove and Cooney Creek, for a distance of six miles, are one stretch of flames. The fire from Long Point has worked towards Hillgrove, and destroyed everything before it.

A section of the Blue Mountains has been swept by bush fires, an area of about 20 miles from Hartley, through to Kanimbla, being affected. Many families have been burnt out, cattle, sheep, and everything being devoured by the flames.

At Bective Mrs. Williams died suddenly, and Mr. Ellis dropped dead from a traction engine in the same district. James Johnson, an old identity of Forbes, also died of heat apoplexy. A number of deaths from heat apoplexy are reported from the country. At Coonamble Mr. A. T. Robins, the head teacher of the local school, succumbed. Henry Plummer, farmer, of Ulmarra, died, and his wife, son, and daughter are seriously ill. Miss Bridget Carolan, of Narrandera, died from sunstroke.

The principal sufferers were:

Isaac Sydney, who has lost his house, furniture, and all his stock, besides the money he received for his wool.

John Duff, farmer – House, furniture, and nearly the whole of his stock.

John Gracie, farmer – House, contents, and all his stock.

Ward Brothers, pastoralists – Woolshed and wool burnt, also 3,000 head of sheep and 25 head of cattle.

John Tolhurst – House, furniture, and stock.

T Tolhurst – House, furniture, and stock.

George McKillip – Woolshed and 250 sheep.

George Dwyer – All his stock.

W. Skeen – House, furniture, and stock.

Donald Boyd – Woolshed and stock.

The Congregational Church in Wyalong Valley has also been destroyed.



Sydney, January 3.

The State Premier this afternoon expressed the fullest sympathy with those who have suffered from the disastrous bush fires of the last few days, and trusted that the calamitous visitation might soon end, and a brighter outlook appear to the men on the land. The Government are rendering all the aid in their power, and will continue to do so.

The Premier received the following cable to-day from Mr. Seddon, the Premier of New Zealand: – “Warmest sympathy of New Zealand goes out to sufferers in disastrous bush fires, which we trust may soon cease.”

The Lord Mayor has opened a fund with over £100, and other lists are being started with the object of affording relief to the sufferers.


Melbourne, January 3.

The rain which fell yesterday in Victoria was general throughout the State, and particularly visited those localities in which bush fires were raging, effectually putting a stop to their ravages. Only at Mildura and Swan Hill did the fall exceed an inch. The north-eastern and south-western districts received very little rain. The average for the whole of the mallee area was 57 points. In the central and western districts the average was 69 points. The Government Astronomer anticipates that a little more rain will fall in the interior.


Longwood, January 2.

A destructive bush fire occurred in this district last week. It burned for three days, and did a considerable amount of damage. Several homesteads had narrow escapes from destruction. Mr. Davis had his stable burned down, while Mr. Cheesman lost a haystack, and great difficulty was experienced in preventing the fire from getting bold of the dwelling-house. The Longwood Institute also had a narrow escape, and a marquee, which had been erected on the new oval was totally destroyed.


Melbourne, January 3.

The bush fires which raged in the Bethanga district on Sunday destroyed 20,000 acres of grass country at Yea. Over 1,000 sheep were overtaken in a paddock by the flames and burnt to death. Several dwellings were destroyed at Rushworth, but the fire has since been put out.

The bush fires in the Tallangatta district have devastated a large area of country. The most serious loss was at the Fairy Knowe estate, where 8,000 acres were affected. The homestead was saved after a great effort.

About ten miles of country were burnt around Glenrowan during Sunday and yesterday. While W. Cass was trying to save some things from his burning home his clothes caught fire, and he was burnt about the arms and body. He lost all his grass and fencing. While the flames were raging around James Miller’s house his daughter’s clothes caught fire, and she was burnt about the head.

Rain fell to-day and helped to extinguish the flames. Fully 25 per cent. of the raisin crop at Mildura has been destroyed owing to the excessive heat that has prevailed there for several days past.

Written by macalba

May 20, 2010 at 8:07 pm

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