Historical information

This photograph, from the 1950s, shows an Alpine Fire Prevention technique of "burning off" low levels of scrub to reduce the level of available fuel against any possible summer bush fires.The Alpine regions accumulate high levels of potential fuel (undergrowth and small shrubs) which if not reduced has the potential of breaking into a dangerous bush fire. The men in this photograph are not wearing any protective clothing. Their visibility to other firefighters is severely reduced by smoke. This photo is a snap shot in time when Occupational Health and Safety Legislation was in its infancy stage.


This photograph details the fire prevention activities in the Victorian Alps under the management of the SEC Victoria. The level of undergrowth within the Australian bush needs to be under control to avoid the possibility of lightning strikes (during summer storms) igniting dry forests resulting in a major bush fire. Controlled fires within alpine regions are required not only to reduce the level of dry undergrowth but also to provide those various plant species requiring fire for regenerate. This method was used by the original inhabitants (Aborigines) as limited scrub fires were used to flush game and bird population for eating with the side benefit to those plants requiring that fire for regeneration.

Physical description

This black and white photograph shows an Alpine Fire Prevention technique of "burning off" low levels of scrub. The photograph is on 200gsm paper but it is not photographic paper. It can be assumed that the photo is not the original but a copy produced by the SEC Vic. See also KVHS 0413 and KVHS 0414 for other similar photos.