Reflections from Northern Rivers locals on the 2019/2020 bushfires

Fire Stories presents reflections on the 2019/ 2020 bushfires from Northern Rivers locals.  

The words and images on this site were gathered as part of the Fire Stories project, delivered by Kyogle Family Support Services and funded by the Bushfire Community Recovery and Resilience Fund. The project sought to talk to people from across the Northern Rivers region of NSW about how this natural disaster impacted their lives, and how they reflect and prepare for the future. 

From July 2021 to July 2022 the creative team interviewed RFS volunteers, community responders, mental health workers, recovery volunteers, farmers, retirees living on bush blocks, business owners, ecologists, conservationists, First Nations elders, and wildlife carers. 

Stories were shared on the impact the fires had on the land, on buildings, to wildlife, to cherished and fragile eco-systems, and also the physical, mental and emotional impacts on the individuals’ themselves. 

Tens of thousands of words were gathered, transcribed, and then edited into short narratives. These, along with photos contributed by the broader community, were published in the book Fire Stories: Reflections from Northern Rivers locals on the 2019/2020 bushfires. Copies of the book were distributed to participants, stakeholders, disaster organisations and regional and state libraries. 

This site contains the stories published in the book, a gallery featuring additional community photos, as well as a series of audio stories. 

If you are interested in getting in touch with us, or purchasing a copy of the 184-page, full colour coffee-table style book, you can do so here.

The opinions expressed on this website by individuals do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the organisations they work, volunteer for, or are associated with. The opinions expressed in the book do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the authors, creative developers, publishers, photographers, editors, or other contributors.

This is a Bushfire Community Recovery and Resilience Fund project through the joint Commonwealth/State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements. Although funding for this product has been provided by both the Australian and NSW Governments, the material contained herein does not necessarily represent the views of either government.