The following description of the 1994 fires in West Ward is drawn from the Rural Fire Services Report – A State Ablaze.
After the 1994 fires the Progress Association made a formal submission to the Select Committee on Bushfires.
As a consequence two major community initiatives were spawned:
- The establishment of Community Fires Units within West Ward
- An expansion with the number of Bushland groups in the Ward, particularly with an emphasis on hazard reduction
A STATE ABLAZE
1994 Lane Cove River Park Fires:
Having started on January 6 within the Berriwerri Reserve and Lane Cove River Park and affecting
the suburbs of Macquarie Park, South Turramurra and West Pymble, the fire was finally contained
later the same day before it crossed Quarry Creek, Marsfield.
At around 1630 hrs on January 7 the fire re-ignited moving east over De Burgh’s Bridge and into
the gully below West Killara. By 1700hrs it was severely impacting upon the residential areas
atop the escarpment bounding Albert Drive, Fiddens Wharf Drive and Carramar Road.
By 1800hrs new spot fires had started north of Lady Game Drive (north of the CSIRO National
Measurement Laboratory) and by 1830hrs, minor damage to Ku-ring-gai College occurred as
the fire continued its south easterly run towards the Commonwealth Acoustic Laboratory and
Ultrasonic Institute in West Chatswood. The fire ended its run just west of Kooba Avenue.
Unfortunately, a number of residential properties had been lost. Containment lines were
established north of Delhi Road and south of the Lane Cove River to contain its southern flank.
These fires were within 10 kilometres of the centre of Sydney.
Under appalling weather conditions, material from within the area that had burnt the previous
night was blown across Delhi Road into unburnt parts of the Lane Cove River Park. By 1100hrs on
Saturday 8.1.94 the fire was burning behind the CSIRO Research Laboratories and Hoyts Media
television studios and by 1230hrs had jumped the Lane Cove River once more into the suburban
areas of Chatswood West and Lane Cove West, just 7km from the City’s centre.
The fire was burning with such intensity that spot fires were being experienced more than 500m
ahead of the main firefront in Stringybark Reserve, just 6km from the high-rise business district of
The fire was finally contained at 1330 hrs.