When Bushfire Destroyed the Town of Dwellingup

Here is a dramatization of the events surrounding the destruction of the town of Dwellingup in Western Australia in January 1961. It was written and narrated by Roger Underwood. Other voices are provided by professional actors. The stories are by real people, and are taken from Roger Underwood’s book Tempered by Fire.

It was broadcast as three episodes by Perth community radio station Capital Radio FM.

This is a unique production, with real people recalling real events in the real bushfire world. It also has some underlying messages. One of these is that the so-called “unprecedented weather” on the eastern seaboard last summer was nothing new in Australian history at all. Another is the futility of trying to control bushfires burning in heavy fuels under strong winds.


In case the links move too far down the list over time, here are the direct links to the audio files (approx. 15~20 min. each):

Episode 1:

Episode 2:

Episode 3:

One thought on “When Bushfire Destroyed the Town of Dwellingup”

  1. A moving presentation about the huge fire of 60 odd years back.
    The glow of which I saw on the horizon from 100 km distant.
    It is greatly disappointing that modern society appears not to have taken on board the inevitability of bushfires and rely on a career fire service to rescue them from their learned helplessness.
    People must learn about fire and community ownership of fire mitigation is essential.
    Perhaps a blend of the LandCare movement with a fire mitigation awards scheme modelled on tidy towns could achieve something in the future.

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