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Recovering from the Black Summer bushfires

The 2019/20 ‘Black Summer’ bushfires impacted over 100 of Victoria’s most significant historic heritage places across Victoria’s north-east. The Heritage Bushfire Recovery Program is a joint initiative of Heritage Victoria and Bushfire Recovery Victoria.

In response to the bushfires, Heritage Victoria is:

  • Assessing state significant heritage places which were impacted by the fires
  • Providing advice to Councils and communities on how to assess local heritage places

The assessment of Aboriginal cultural heritage is managed through a separate initiative.

Stringers Knob Fire Spotting Tower

Stringers Knob Fire Spotting Towe

Bushfires are central to the ongoing heritage significance of Stringers Knob Fire Spotting Tower. It was built by the Forests Commission after the 1939 Black Friday bushfires. The tower was an experimental design commissioned by the Inspector of Forests, and enabled unrestricted views of the surrounding forest as far as Marlo, over 40km away.

Fire spotters would spend a week at the tower, alone, sleeping in a tin shed at the base of the tower, and the rest of their time in the small wooden cabin at the top of the tower. The tower was used until the 1960s. The tower collapsed during the Black Saturday fires but the team is now working closely with Forest Fire Management Gippsland to conserve the remaining sections of the pole and tell the story of Stringers Knob.

Site assessments

We are assessing 24 places that bushfires affected. Some suffered damage. Some might be impacted by rehabilitation work. Some sites are being assessed because they are becoming increasingly rare in Victoria.

Heritage places impacted by fire

Financial assistance for fire-affected heritage

If you have a State listed heritage place in an area affected by the 2019-20 bushfires you may be eligible for a grant of $20,000-$200,000.

Page last updated: 25/02/21