Remembering the 2009 Victorian Bushfires

7 February 2019

Today we mark ten years since the 2009 Victorian Bushfires, which devastated so many communities across the state. 

It is important to acknowledge the loss and grief of those most affected. The bushfires claimed 173 lives, injured 5,000 people, destroyed 2,029 homes, killed countless animals and burnt through more than 4,500 square kilometres of land. Today our thoughts are with communities, emergency management personnel, and those who have lost so much over the years.    

Ten years on, the impacts of the bushfires and severe heatwave continue to have an impact. In many ways, they were a catalyst for significant change and reform. 

In the last ten years, there has been a significant overhaul of Victoria’s emergency management system, which has shaped the way we prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies in Victoria. 

The focus shifted, and the importance of community being at the centre of all we do and agencies working better together is the priority. We operate in a different environment now, and our shared vision and goal, across the whole emergency management sector, is safer and more resilient communities. Our philosophy translates over all communities and all emergencies. 

Victoria has learned from the past and we continue to learn, change and adapt.

Today is an important time to reflect, remember and renew.