The smoke was still heavy over Garema Place when every
Fire Fighter in Canberra was awarded the Canberran of the Year medal on 12 March 1985.
The 1984/85 bushfire
season in the ACT was the worst on record. There were extensive fires on
Mount Ainslie, Black Mountain, Mount Majura, Mount Taylor and Red Hill, and
fires encroached on Holt, Tharwa and the Sundown Drive-in.By the end of the season 10,000 hectares of pasture and bushland in
the ACT had been burned out and 7,000
head of stock had perished.
Those fighting the fires were drawn from every professional and
volunteer organisation in the ACT, including units within government
departments such as Parks and Conservation, CSIRO, the Royal Military College
and the Defence Forces and many individuals. The ACT Fire Brigade was heavily
involved on two fronts – while assisting with the bushfires, fires from gas
leaks and other causes kept them busy in town, the most spectacular being a
fire in the roof of the National Library that threatened to destroy both the
building and its contents.