Bushfires in Victoria

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


The 2019-2020 bushfire season was unprecedented in intensity and devastation. Throughout the summer multiple fires burnt large areas of Victoria and all states of Australia, resulting in 34 fatalities and huge losses of land and wildlife. Fires were contained by early March.

See Research fires for suggestions on how to find further resources.

⏯ Watch Fires, a six-part ABC series inspired by true stories of the 2019-2020 bushfires. Accessibility: Closed Captions are available. Click/tap the [CC] icon when streaming or follow instructions. Audio Description is not currently available unless watching live.


Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews encouraged financial donations to the Victorian Bushfire Appeal (rather than supplies). Other organisations with bushfires appeals included CFARed CrossFire relief fund for First Nations communities and Foodbank.

WWF's interim report six months after the fires found that nearly 3 billion animals were impacted. The Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA); Formerly The Department of Environment Land Water and Planning (DELWP) is the lead agency for managing wildlife welfare arising from bushfire: Bushfire response - community information.


How you can donate and help the volunteer firefighters - Guardian Australia

Here's how you can help Australia's bushfire victims - The Age

Authors For Fireys - Australia's literary community hosted online Twitter auctions to raise funds for firefighters: #AuthorsForFireys or #AuthorsForFiries.

Royal Commission

A Royal Commission into the Black Summer bushfires was established on 20 February 2020 (press release and terms of reference). The independent inquiry will provide research, evidence and recommendations to government.

Records from Royal Commissions deemed to be of permanent value are transferred to National Archives of Australia. See Royal Commission Records (Public Record Office Victoria).

The Library also collects related material. Read more about records in our collection (Commonwealth and Victorian).

Satellite image

November 1, 2019  |  January 3, 2020

Drag the bar to compare satellite images. The recent picture (on the right) shows smoke and fires along the east coast of Australia. Source: The Conversation 4 photos of Australia from space, before and after the bushfires


Nathan Ruser‏ @Nrg8000

Comparison of South East Coast burnt in past four years (2019 on left). Data from FIRMS Fire Map. Credit: Nathan Ruser‏ @Nrg8000


South East coast - Sep - Dec 2016-2019 credit: Tye @LuckayyLucario

East Gippsland fire extent - comparison by decade credit: Dr Tom Fairman @itsnotfairman