Bushfires in Victoria

Find books, government reports, websites, statistics, newspaper articles and images about Victorian bushfires from 1851 to today.


From December 1938 to January 1939, fires burnt out around two million hectares. 71 people died and more than 650 buildings were destroyed. The most severe fires came during a firestorm on Friday January 13, known as Black Friday.

Advice on using the Library's catalogue, in-house indexes and newspapers collection to research these fires can be found on our Research fires page.

Search the Library's catalogue to find images of the aftermath of these fires, particularly in Omeo.

Resources at the Public Record Office Victoria

The Public Record Office Victoria (PROV) in North Melbourne collects records created by Victorian government departments and agencies. They hold many records relating to Victorian bushfires, including:

Visit PROV's Black Friday 1939 - 80th Anniversary blog post for images from inquest records and links to relevent collections.


Bush fires : a pictorial survey of Victoria's most tragic week, January 8-15, 1939. p24

Bush fires : a pictorial survey of Victoria's most tragic week, January 8-15, 1939. Page 24



The total estimated cost of the 1939 Victorian bushfires was $250 million.

To find out the number of deaths and losses of property associated with these bushfires, check:

State Library Victoria


The Library is closed from December 25 to January 3. From January 4 2021 we will be partially open to pre-booked and walk-up visitors and our Ask A Librarian service will resume for assistance with your research inquiries online and over the phone.