In January 2006, the Grampians National Park and surrounding area burned.
The fires started on the weekend of 21-22 January, following a period of terrible weather: hot, dry days and a lightning storm that ignited the blaze at Mt. Lubra. It burned for two weeks, finally getting under control in early February. In this period, 130,000 hectares (an area around the size of metropolitan Melbourne) were burnt, along with 40 dwellings, 72 farm sheds and over 62,000 sheep. Of the actual Grampians, about 50-60% was burned. Only two human lives were lost, which is not so amazing considering the vast amount of farmland around the Grampians. Certainly this is the most devastating bushfire I have ever seen in Australia.
Tributes to the DPI, CFA and to those unlucky souls who lost their houses and livestock in the blaze included a short play put on by a local school theatre group, Theatrerats; flowers and a cross at the place where the two people died; murals depicting 'Elvis' and 'Rocky', two water-carrying aeroplanes; and a sign at the front of the small community of Pomonal, which, because the fire came so close to this town, read "Pomonal Island / Pop: Lucky". This is also depicted on a T-shirt I happen to own, showing the area burnt out on the back, and a small fire truck logo with "Pomonal Firefighters" encircling it.
Since then, many of the National Park's attractions have reopened, but scars are still present: blackened, burnt tree trunks with stray leaves growing at odd places, and the absence of a particular kind of fern (which I completely forget the name of).