History of the CFA in Kangaroo Ground and surrounds
KANGAROO GROUND RURAL FIRE BRIGADE is 125 years old
On 6th February 1892, a meeting was held at the Eltham Council Chambers (then located in Kangaroo Ground) for the purpose of forming a Bush Fire Brigade.
After some discussion it was agreed those wishing to become members would give their word of honour that in the event of a bushfire breaking out anywhere within a 6 mile (9.6km) radius from the Kangaroo Ground post office they would at once go to it and do their “level best” to put it out.¹
This appears to be the first official record of the formation of a bush fire brigade as in “a State of Fire: A History of Volunteer Firefighting and the CFA in Victoria” Murray & White state “The first bush fire brigade appears to have been formed at Kangaroo Ground in 1882”. The bush fire brigades were the ruggedly independent forerunners of the CFA Rural Brigades, and were mostly groups of landowners who banded together, placing the old inadequately organised efforts of neighbours on a more formal basis.
² The Evelyn Observer 1892
¹The Evelyn Observer, 12 February 1892, p2
² A State of Fire: A History of Volunteer Firefighting and the CFA in Victoria, R Murray & K White, p71
The 1962 Fires. Often it was very like this. Small crews of volunteers in make-shift tankers with sometimes their radio transmitters on the blink.