Monday 20th January

Clearing had begun of all the dead animals to avoid health problems, pits being dug to bury the carcasses. The Australian Army was deployed to help clear roads.

Small fires continued to burn, and the fire to the south was still presenting a problem in Namadgi National Park.

Emergency Services assisted in closing numerous roads to ensure public safety.

Tuesday 21st January 2003

Work was continuing on firebreaks on the northern suburban border. Assessments and investigations began of the damage and loss. A major staging area had now been set up at the North Curtin playing fields, run by Emergency Services. It provided meals, and an area to park the helicopters and fire trucks as several of the works depots had been lost.

After the firestorm the Forest Fire Danger Index dipped and peaked every couple of days. On Tuesday 21st it was again over 40.

Large areas of the ACT had been blacked out and work continued on restoring services.


NSWRFS on standby along Smiths Road


A taskforce from the Hawkesbury District NSWRFS on standby along Smiths Road, as small runs of fire emerge from the Clear Range Hills.

Photograph © Jeff Cutting


Wednesday 22nd January 2003

The atmosphere was still very dense with smoke, with restricted visibility. The major focus was on the suburbs and protection of the northern urban fringe. Fire was still active in the south of Namadgi National Park.

The Australian Army began work on a temporary crossing of the Cotter River, where a bridge had been burnt.

Thursday 23rd January 2003

Firebreaks were burnt between cleared strips by the ACT and Queensland taskforce to protect the northern suburbs.

Fire was still active in the south of Namadgi National Park.

Friday 24th January 2003

Fire was still burning in the south and some back burning was undertaken. A staging area was set up by Emergency Services at the Molonglo Volunteer shed to service the north side.

19th January The Cotter    front page    25th to 27th January

Last updated 4 November 2014