Fires 1905


1905 - On Saturday last at West Blowering the fire of Monday night last broke out again, but little damage is at present anticipated other than to grass and fences. The fire is confined to the West Blowering Station. - (Ref- The Tumut Advocate and Farmers & Settlers' Adviser (NSW : 1903 - 1925)(about) Previous issue Tuesday 10 January 1905 Page 4).

1905 - IN THE TUMBERUMBA DISTRICT. - TUMBERUMBA, Thursday - further bush fires are reported to be raging at Copabella on Monday and Tuesday, and spreading to other properties On Tues- day night a high wind sprang up, and was followed by a thunderstorm, but very little rall fell Numerous proofs at a forthcoming that the bush fires have been caused by phosphorus bait's laid for rabbits. In one instance Mr Henry Vickery, a well known resident of Tumberumba, who has lately taken up land near Sharpe's Creek, stated that he saw the phosphorus which had been laid for rabbits suddenly burst out in flames in various places about 10 chains from his house and set fire to the grass, while the main fire was over a mile from the place. The occurrence was also witnessed by his wife and daughter and an employed man. Other reliable reports, which are similar in effect, are to hand, proving that phosphorus will not endure heat, and if it has not been properly strained and dissolved grains will ignite.

Unless desive steps are taken by the proper authorities a pestilcnco is likely to arise through the great quantity of stock burnt, the decomposed bodies of horses, cattle, sheep, kangaroos, rabbits, etc, lying huddled in heaps The water will also become contaminated, thus jeopardising human life. Not with standing reports to the contrary, the damage done by the fires in the whole of this district is very great, many settlers, etc, being left completely destitute. - (Ref- The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954)(about) Previous issue Friday 13 January 1905).

1905 - GREAT DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY. CULCAIRN, Sunday. - Tremendous bush fires are raging in the Culcairn district, and thousands of acres of wheat have been burned. A terrific gale has been blowing all day. Farmers' houses, sheds, and machinery have been destroyed, and the fire is still burning into the town.

ALBION PARK, Saturday. - Fires are raging round the mountains, and waves of heat from it are coming into that town.

BOMBALA, Saturday. - Bush fires around Delegate, which are causing great damage to property, are still raging, and appear to bo coming with great rapidity in tho direction of Bombala. The air is charged with dust and smoke.

BRAIDWOOD, Saturday - Immense bush fires are raging in the mountains between here and the coast.

BRANXTON, Saturday. - Great destruction was caused by bush fire here yesterday. The Stanhope Public School and residence were totally destroyed. Many Estates and much fencing havo been destroyed. Houses have been saved with great difficulty. The fires are still burning fiercely.

COOMA, Sunday. - Bush fires are raging in the direction of Countcguinea and Numeralla.

COWRA, Saturday. - The heat is intensified by bush fires over 12 miles distant. Accurato information has not yet been received of the extent of damage.

GERMANTON, Saturday. - A large bush fire is raging in the direction of Cookardinia.

GUNDAGAI, Saturday. - A big bush fire is burning on Mr. P. Kiley's "Red Hill" Station, and also on Mr. Geary's property adjoining. One thousand acres of grass and much fencing have been destroyed. The blaze is now running towards Tomorroma.

The fire on Aralabrad station burnt 130 acres of grass. It started on the river frontage, and was blocked when it got to the water.

The Adelong Crossing fire is still going, and is burning out towards Mount Adrah. Last night a stretch of hills for many miles was illuminated. The sight was a grand but terrible one. Heat to-day. Ill shade.

GUNNING. Saturday. - The town is surrounded by bush fires. Several homesteads in the neighbourhood lost large areas of grass. Résidences were threatened, but were saved with difficulty. One is reported to have been burnt out.

HILLGROVE, Saturday. - An extensive bush fire is raging six miles from town. Mr. William Golden, a selector, has lost 4000 acres of grass. Mrs. Cuskolly's homestead was saved with great difficulty, as was also Mr. Golden's house. The fire is still raging, and miles of country havo been devastated. Mr. I.Iunsio's selection is surrounded by fire. A considerable quantity of grass on tbo Hillgrove Station has been destroyed. Senior-constable Sketchlcy, of Hillgrove, and n band of willing workers are doing their utmost to subdue the fire.

LITHGOW. Saturday. - Bush fires are raging throughout, the district, threatening material damage.

MORUYA, Saturday. - Bush fire's are still strongly in evidence, and the town is daily enveloped in smoke. Some losses havo been caused.

MOUNT VICTORIA, Saturday. - The Italian's farm at Hartley has been burned out, other homesteads having narrow escapes.

NARRANDERA, Sunday. - A largo bush fire is raging. It started on the common, and burned through to Bundid Sarlo on to Grong Grong. The irrigation Surveyors' camp was destroyed, together with the instruments.

STROUD, Saturday. Bush fires are prevalent.

WOONONA. Saturday. - The heat to-day was the most excessive felt for years, due to enormous bush fires on the ranges. A report was received here this afternoon stating that the entire district of Sherbrooke had been swept with fire, several buildings, formerly the proporty of resumed holders, being burnt to the ground. Pieces of charred bark, which are alight, are falling about the town, which it is in danger of an outbreak. The bush around the mines is well ablaze, and several paddocks are alight.

WEST WYALONG, Saturday. - Bush fires are reported a few miles north- east of Wyalong.

YOUNG, Saturday. - Several bush fires are reported in this district. - (Ref- The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954)(about) Previous issue Monday 2 January 1905).

1905 - BUSH FIRES - HUNDREDS OF STOCK PERISHED. - SETTLERS ABANDONING THEIR HOMES. TOWN OF GUNDAGAI IN DANGER. - GUNDAGAI, Saturday. A bush FIre to the west of the town on Mr. M'Kinney's Nangus station swept over from Tenandra Park during the day, and is still burning fiercely. A message by telephone from Kimo reports that there was a fire in the vicinity of the Nangus dairy, and that all hands had turned out to prevent it spreading on to Kimo.

The town and district are in a state of dread, bush fires burning all round. At 2 o'clock a fire broke out in Mr. Pierce's back yard, near the centre of the town, the adjoining paddocks being swept clean. The homes of Sub-Inspector Hojel, Messrs Sullivan Bros., and Watt were threatened, but 100 towns people quickly arrived, and after an hour's work conquered.

The fire-beaters had an awful task, the heat 110 in the shade, and a fierce wind blowing. Another outbreak occurred at Jones' Creek, near Mr. Ryan's residence. A large area of grass was destroyed. The haystacks escaped owing to the flames turning when within a yard of them. The property of Mr. J. Ross, near the cemetery, was burnt out, only the house being saved. The town is enveloped in smoke, and business is practically suspended, people being afraid to leave their homes.

A fire started at Mt. Adrah, and is still raging, sweeping towards Gilmore, and covering an enormous extent of country. There have been more losses of crops at Adelong Crossing. A fresh out break has occurred on Mr. Kiley's Red Hill station, and adjoining settlers have been burnt out. The fire is still raging.

This morning an outbreak occurred near the Junction of the Tumut and Murrumbidgee Rivers, and it is still burning, but no details are to hand, should the heat continue losses in this district from bush fires will be enmormous.

Word has just been received of another outbreak west of the town, evidently on the Kimo estate. It threatens to reach the town.

Sunday. - - The bush flros continue and the whole town is in danger. Yesterday there was a big blaze at Snowball, 5 miles from town. Mr J. Egan's house, stable, machinery and crops were burnt; Mr. H. Therrlngton's also.

A fire started at Nangus Station, Messrs. McKinney Brothers, owners, on Friday, and swept the whole country side, all the grass and fencing being gone. Hundrods of sheep, besides cattle and horses, perished. The dairy buildings recently erected were swept clean The homestead, however, was saved with difficulty.

All the small settlers at Nangus were burnt out Mr. G. Gittoes lost everything, as also did Messrs. D. Clemson, J. Williams, and G Sheather. The crops and machiney all went The horses and cattle are in a pitiful condition.

Sweeping fire threatened Kimo Mr. J. Robinson the owner and an army of men sent from Gundagai to fight tho fire turned a trail over a mile long across the Nangus reserve. To-day fire reached the break, but leapt over it and tore down on the other side then jumped back again and turned towards the town. The homestead was saved with great difficulty, also tho dairy buildings.

All the settlers between Kimo and Gundagai have abandoned their homes, taking all their valuables, and are camped on the river.

A fire is now burning at the Willie Ploma' and South Gundagai reserve, and it is feared that it will sweep to South Gundagai. The townspeople are preparing for the event. To-day a fierce southerly has been blowing, and the temperature is 117 in tne shade.

The damage is impossible to estimate, but the whole district is ablaze. Another fire is burning out at Mingay station, of which P. J. O'Donnell is the owner; also on Messrs. Crowe Bros.', Gobarralong. Over 6000 acres so far have gone, but the fire seems to be sweeping on. Other fires are burning towards Adelong, Tumut, and Brungle. The people are becoming disheartened. The calamity is unprecedented in the history of Gundagai. - (Ref- The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954)(about) Previous issue Monday 2 January 1905)

1905 - Disastrous Fire at Tumut. - TUMUT, Tuesday .- The house of Mr. William J. Shelley (Coroner), of Tumut Plains, together with its contents, was last night completely destroyed by fire, and his grandchild, Amy Bird Croft, aged 15 months, was burned to death in bed. No opportunity was afforded of saving anything. As the building was rather old, and mostly of wood, it burned like match head and in a few minutes nothing was left standing.

Mrs. Croft, the mother of the child, rushed into the burning building, making frantical attempts to rescue her baby, but she was not successful in reaching the bedroom. Her own clothes caught fire, and she was seriously burned before the flames were extinguished.

The whole of the property was uninsured. The fire apparently originated in the childs bedroom, where a lamp had been left burning.;

Mr. and Mrs. Croft are residents of Sydney and were on a holiday at Tumut. - (Ref- Australian Town and Country Journal (NSW : 1870 - 1907)(about) Previous issue Wednesday 27 September 1905).

1905 - TUMUT, Tuesday - A bush fire rushed through here on Sunday, causing great alarm and an immense amount of damage. Mr. Tonkin, of Gadara, estimates his loss at £800 forh ay, machinery, and sheds. Mr. River's loss is about £200 for machinery, hay, and sheds. Mr. Hogan lost all his prize sheep at Gocup, also his house and sheds. The following settlers lost their houses and belongings: Mrs. Burns, Mr. A. Hogan, Miss Brennan, Messrs. Israol, Peper, Mrs. Kershaw, Mr. T. Piper, jun., Mrs. Nestor, Messrs. A. Lynch, D. McGregor. S. French, and J. McKay. Mr. T. Keefe lost his residence and about 400 sheep. Mr. John Arentz had 2000 bushels of maize and a shed destroyed. The Wyangle School was destroyed. Dr. Mason lost 1500 acres of grass and some cattle. It is rumoured that numbers of sheep on Bombowlee station are missing. The fire came within half a mile of the town, but did no damage on this side of Gilmore Creek. A heavy thunderstorm at 10 o'clock last night extinguished the remains of the fire. An outbreak occurred in the Yarrangobilly country yesterday, and the suspicion is strong that phosphorus was the principal cause of the whole of the fires.- (Ref- The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954)(about) Previous issue Friday 6 January 1905).


Enormous Devastation. i)es61ation on numerous Holdings. Serious loss of Property. Families Homeless. Stook perished in all directions Human Lives Sacrificed. Black Sunday.

Never in the whole history of this State have such disastrous bush fires been experienced as raged on Sunday last. The enormous devastation wrought is impossible to calculate and the loss of live stock cannot be approximately estimated.

The most serious part of the calamity is the sacrifice of human lives in the endeavour to check the spread of the flames, which traversed bush, pasturage and crops with fury, consuming almost everything on their course. The trials and privations endured by hundreds of families are fearful to contemplate, parents and children being forced to flee from their homes to save their lives and endure the scorching heat caused by the raging fires surround ing them on all sides. Some took refuge in streams and water holes, having to submerge themselves entirely to prevent their skin parching; others sought the green crops and open patches of land, as affording the only escape from certain death.

Men and women fought valiantly against the fiery elements to secure their houses, working until sheer exhaustion overcame them, but consoled by the fact that their task was accomplished and the demon conquered. Homes that took years of hard and constant toil to build up were demolished in less time than it takes to tell the tale after; men whose savings of a lifetime lay in their land and stock were ruined in one fell blow, while others, against whom Fate was less evily disposed, will take years to recover from the losses.

The line of fire extended from Burrowa to Wagga, but other fires are reported in different parts of the State. Thousands of miles of fencing is destroyed, telegraph poles burnt off and communication by wire cut off. Adelong has been isolated since Sunday and it will take some days beforeconnection is restored.

It appears there were several simultaneous outbreaks to the westward last week, the origin of which cannot be definitely traced, but though it was thought that these had been checked, the excessive heat following was reponsible for numerous other fires springing up and starting the old ones anew.

The fires at Adelong Crossing and Mundarlo are believed to be the chief causes of the wholesale destruction in the Adelong and Tumut districts, although other outbreaks occurred at Junee and Lower Tarcutta. They spread out like the opening of a fan and extended over a vast scope of country in a very shore time. A high wind carried them along through all classes of country with a rapidity that defied all human power to stay. In places huge gaps occurred where the flames had jumped from one spot to another.

Mr. A. Crain's Mt. Horeb estate was completely burnt out, fences, grass, woolshed, outhouses, &c, all being demolished. It was with considerable difficulty that the homestead was saved. The loss of stock cannot yet be estimated, but it is believed to be pretty considerable.

Mr. S. J. Treweek is a heavy loser, 600 sheep being burnt in the paddock. Cattle are also missing. Besides grass, a shed containing 80 tons of hay was destroyed on Mr. Nat Melrose's Mr. J. Melrose lost all the grass in his paddocks.

Mr. W. Crain (Bangadang) had his holdings swept, and all the household were kept busy fighting the flames to prevent the house from catching alight.

At Mt. Pleasant (where Mr. Robt. Prowse resides), the house, 20 acres of corn, pumpkin crop and garden, 5 pigs, two sheds of hay, chaffcutter, &c, were wiped off the holding.

At Clearmont, where Mr. Fred. Robins resided, the house was gutted. Mr. Robins had been working at the fire at Mr. Wm. Crain's, went home and shortly afterwards the flames got into a lot of thistles in front of the house. He endeavoured to gather to gether a few of his belongings, but before that could be done the place was surrounded. He rushed out towards the creek but the flames over took him, and ignited his clothes which burned on his body, fearful in juries resulting. However, he succeeded in reaching the water and jumping into it extinguished the burning clothes. There he remnined, in excruciating pain, until the next morning, when he dragged himself three weary miles to the residence of Mr. Crain who brought him to Adelong to the doctor, and on Tuesday morning the ambulance conveyed him to the Tumut Hospital. The burns were frightful, his entire features being disfigured.

At Greenbank (Mr. R. W. Prowse's) all grass, 16 acres wheat, 16 tons buy in a shed, 15 bags of oats, 100 sheep, & bullock waggon and miles of fencing have vanished.

Mr. Jas. I. Prowse was burnt clean out excupring his house. Woolshed, a reaper and binder drafting yards and a mare (a full sister to Zelia) and foal,

the property of Mr. G. B. Guy of Brungle were also burned. Eight tons of hay, shed, stables, dray, harness, &c, were Mr. P. O'Dwyer's losses.

At O'Dwyer's mine a clean sweep was made of the huts, brace, timber, &c, and the mine was set on fire.

Mr. George K. Cole had the misfortune to be burnt out of house and home and all the contents went with it.

At Messrs. A. and I. Crain's at Mt. Adrah all the buildings including dwelling, woolshed, stables, sheds, &c, were razed to the ground, scores of miles of fencing is rendered useless, and the loss is estimated at £8000.

A number of other residents in thia locality were suffered, .Yabtree, Daltroit and Parkley (Mrs. G. W. Dennis') were visited and extensive damage done. It is estimated that the fire travelled 20 miles in two hours. After having fought the flames for two days and two nights at Yabtree, the charred remains of Michael Dowdall, an elderly man, were found in the debris of the fire. It is surmised that through sheer exhaustion he lay down in his hut, and the fire having started afresh overcame him in his deep sleep.

Messrs W. G. Prowse, J. W. Prowse and R. Falder lost pasturage and fences.

The fire went right through Mr. C. J. Coughlan's property and Ellerslie station, causing havoc amongst the station sheep and devouring the grass and fences. The outbuildings, machinery, buggies, harness, yards, &c, on the latter were all destroyed, and an army of fire fighters were engaged in saving the residence.

At Sharp's Creek a number of houses were demolished. Messrs Thos. Whiting sr., Jno. Taylor, Alf. Galvin, T. Whiting jr. and H. Amelong were left homeless.

Greenhills (Mr. J. B. Sharp's) was completely burnt out, and the in mates of the house had to flee to the creek for their lives, everything but what they stood up in being consumed. The whole of the buildings, yards, fencing, grass, &c, were taken in a face, and nothing save a heap of debris renates the location of the fine residence. It cannot be ascertained what loss of stock was sustained.

Amongst the sufferers up the Adelong Creek were Messrs Roche & Arrasjon, J. Murray, Alf. Dean, H. Mack and Springdale, who lost grass and fencing.

Mr. C. Purcell got off with a slight shortage of grass.

Mr. Fred Roe's house at Darlow's Creek was destroyed entirely, as also was Mr. G. Dunn's. It was with difficulty the fire was kept out of the town. Bands of fighters were out all day and night guarding the approaches and keeping the fire from spreading townwards. It burned down to Camp Street on the north, through Cornishtown to Mr. J. Curtis' on the west, and along the Black Creek on the south.

At Sandy Gully, Mr. Jos. O'Grady lost his house, crop, and all his belongings, and 25 pigs were roasted alive.

Mr W. J. Miller had a similar misfortune, his family having nothing but what they stood up in. frontage not 5 panels of fencing to gether remain intact.

All the holdings up the creeks for miles were visited, Windowie receiving a thorough burning out. Mr. C. J. Purcell lost 700 or 800 sheep, besides fences and standing crop of wheat.

Mr. Beattie's stacks and sheds vanished.

Only 16 acres of Mr. P. Quilty's crop of 80 acres was left standing. His hay sheds, corn ahed and machinery were destroyed.

Mr. G. Richards' losses included a stock of oats, wheat crop and grass.

Messrs Klien Bros, saved their crop, but the grass was carried off.

Messrs W. and J. Purcell are reported to have lost sheep as well as grass and fencing.

The fire was all round Messrs Isaacs Bros' cheese factory at Rosebank, and hours were spent in beating it off. None of the milking cows were injured, but it is feared that losses have occurred among the stock in the out paddocks, where the fire raged furiously. Sheds were destroyed.

Messrs O'Sullivan Bros, and J. Claffey both lost their crops, grass and fencing, while others higher up sustained similar damage. Mr. T. Sullivan's losses include 100 sheep besides grass and fencing. It was only a few days before that he gave delivery of 900 sheep which would also have perished had they been on the property.

'Oxley,' Mr. Noel Harris', was alao swept of its grass.

The Gap station is burnt clean out, but the loss of stock has not yet been ascertained. This section of the fire burnt itself out near Batlow, but

West Blowering and Mr. J. J. McKey's lighted up on sunday night from the Gilmore ranges, and a large party of neighbors turned out and after hours of fighting saved the buildings and the grass on the flats.

Along the Gilmore from Whatman's Gilmore Hotel on towards Tumut the country on the western bank is perfectly bare. The fences are all down.

Mr. Richard Rivers, of the Federal Estate, lost fences, sheds, crops, ma chinery, woolpress, &c, and a Jersey cow died from the effects of burns on Tuesday. Great difficulty was experienced in saving the house,

as also was the case with Mr. W. Jas. Piper's, armies of workers being employed in the neighborhood.

A wheat crop belonging to Mr. J. Simmers went with the rest. Killarney paddocks and fencing were completely stripped, but a strange thing is the escape of Mrs. McGillivrny's. The fire burnt right up to the house and even caught a heap of firewood alongside, but the house and the grass in the front paddocks were untouched. No one was on the premises at the time.

Mr. Shaw's residence had a narrow escape, the flames from the surrounding grass beating up to the house.

Dr. Mason reports that, after losing his grass and fencing on the western side of Gilmore Creek, he bad discovered 33 cattle that had been destroyed. - (Ref- Adelong and Tumut Express and Tumbarumba Post (NSW : 1900 - 1925)(about) Previous issue Friday 6 January 1905 Page 2).

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