Living with fire: John's bushfire story

bushfire in mallacoota

RACV Staff

Posted December 27, 2021

In Wairewa during the 2019-2020 Black Summer bushfires, John took refuge in the local town hall with the rest of the community as fires raged around them.  

When fire warnings rang out and the CFA advised for residents to evacuate, John sought shelter at the town hall, along with 30 other locals, 15 dogs, and six horses on the tennis courts. He recalls the “fire coming towards us,” and was never certain the windows would protect them through the night.  

Born and bred in Wairewa, John says the community learned some valuable lessons during the worst of the Black Summer bushfires. 

Living With Fire - John

Overall, John believes the best advice is to be prepared with a plan and knowing what you are going to do in severe weather; and when evacuating, where you are going to go. 

John remains thankful to the CFA for their protection of the people, animals, and building, and says he believes that they need an alternative power supply and extra protection for buildings. His aim is to leave Wairewa in better shape for the new young people to enjoy the area and community safely. 

RACV has invested $1 million in solar energy systems for bushfire-prone communities. Those looking for further bushfire recovery can check the Bushfire Recovery Victoria website for further information.