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Canberra
Saturday, March 6, 2021

18th anniversary of Canberra bushfires

Today is the 18th anniversary of Canberra’s devastating 2003 bushfires.

Four people lost their lives in the blazes, while many more were injured and almost five hundred homes were destroyed.

Countless pets and native animals perished and there was widespread damage to pine plantations, nature reserves, urban infrastructure, and rural properties.

Pictured is the ACT Bushfire Memorial in Stromlo Forest Park, which was dedicated on the third anniversary of the fires, in 2006.

It is designed to acknowledge the journey of the day of the fire, the process of recovery, as well as honouring the memory.

The entrance to the memorial is formed by bricks salvaged from burned homes, bearing inscriptions of grief and gratitude.

An amphitheatre of glass columns containing personal photos that highlight memories and the essence of resilience, enclose a pond and bubbling spring.

A grove of casuarinas frames red glass and metal forms that refer to the firestorm and the lightning strikes that sparked the fires. Native plants surround the memorial with many as local species. The memorial was designed by artists Tess Horwitz, Tony Steel and Martyn Jolly.

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