Survivors of the Firestorm

About

In February 2009, conditions were ripe for wildfires in the state of Victoria in southeast Australia. Relentless heat waves, seemingly endless drought, and arid winds sweeping in from the outback had left the countryside tinder dry and braced for the worst. Then, on Saturday, February 7, Victoria went up in flames; and raging fires engulfed everything in their path. By the time the fires subsided, 173 people had lost their lives, over one million acres of mountain ash forest had been destroyed, and countless animals had perished. The overwhelming firestorm was one of the worst in the country’s history, and came to be known as Black Saturday.

But fires, although destructive, are essential for the long-term health of forests. Following Black Saturday, life demonstrated its remarkable resilience even in the middle of burned and blackened wilderness. Within weeks, the great forests began to turn green again. Dormant buds sprouted from charred branches, newly-opened seeds fell onto cleared ground, and millions of seedlings grew in the rich nutrients of scattered ashes. Flowers, grasses, fungi, and mosses all repopulated the area in a great rush of regeneration. Birds, encouraged by signs of recovery, returned to take up their lives again.

However, much of the wildlife that escaped the flames needed help. Rescued animals that had been burned and traumatized by the fires were tenderly nursed back to health at wildlife health centers by volunteers and veterinarians alike. Koalas, wallabies, wombats, kangaroos, echidnas, birds, endangered possums, and even fish all benefited from their care. Not every rescued animal survived, but the efforts of these caring individuals were crucial in saving those that did.

Survivors of the Firestorm follows the phoenix-like story of Victoria’s wildlife, the fall and rise of the great mountain ash forests and all that dwell within them, and the extraordinary capacity of a damaged natural world to bounce back.

Production Credits Print

NARRATED BY
CHRIS MORGAN

DIRECTOR
DIONE GILMOUR

PRODUCER
TONY WRIGHT

NARRATION WRITER
MICHAEL BRIGHT

PHOTOGRAPHY
DAVID PARER ACS DIRECTOR NATURAL HISTORY
CAMERON DAVIES
PETER NEHROS ACS
PETER REIDY
MICHAEL SCHOELL

AERIALS
ADAM HUDDLESTONE
ALLARDES HOITING

EDITOR
CATHAL GEANEY

HEAD OF PRODUCTION
GEORGE ADAMS

SOUND RECORDIST
MURRAY BLAIR

MUSIC
DALE CORNELIUS

SCORE RECORDED AT
OAKLANDS RECORDING STUDIOS AUSTRALIA

SCORING ENGINEER
JARRAD GILSON

SCORE MIXED AT
SCORE STUDIOS PORT MELBOURNE

MIXING ENGINEER
MARK INGRAM

1ST VIOLIN
ROGER JONSSON

2ND VIOLIN
PHILIPPA WEST

VIOLA
JASON BUNN

CELLO
JAMES CHURCHILL

GUITAR
TRISTAN MEREDITH

© 2010 NATIVE TONGUE MUSIC PUBLISHING

SOUND POST PRODUCTION
NOW HEAR THIS
TRISTAN MEREDITH
FABIO PERTILE

FOLEY ARTIST
GERRY LONG

POST PRODUCTION
DIGITAL PICTURES

HEAD OF POST PRODUCTION
RACHEL KNOWLES

POST PRODUCER
CATHERINE ARMSTRONG

COLORIST
DEIDRE MCCLELLAND

ONLINE EDITOR
JOHN KERRON

QUALITY ASSURANCE
PETER PERIC

ARCHIVE
ARCHIVE COURTESY OF AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION LIBRARY SALES
JENNY GIBSON
CLAIRE BARRETT
THE ZOO FOOTAGE COURTESY OF THE SEVEN NETWORK
MICHELLE AND VICTOR BOLMAT
PARKS VICTORIA AND BRITE STAR

APPEARING
PROF DAVID LINDENMAYER
BROOKE HAWTHORNE-SMITH
ADAM LEWIS
STELLA REID
COLIN BUCKLER
SONJA PARKINSON
GAL SHIVTIEL
DR RUPERT BAKER
LIZ GEORGE
KELLY WYNN
DR LEESA HAYNES
FIONA RYAN
DR PHILLIPA MASON
GERRY HAMMERSLEY
DR FRANCISCUS SCHEELINGS
JOANNE ANTROBUS
IAN ROCHE
TARMO RAADIK
ION MAHER

NATURAL HISTORY ASSISTANTS
ALEX MAISEY
JAN INCOLL

ASSISTANT PRODUCER
MATT CALISSI

ASSISTANT EDITORS
LAWRENCE DONELLO
SHAUN SMITH

ACCOUNTANT
MONIKA GEHRT

PRODUCTION ASSISTANT
EMMA WORLEY

LEGAL ADVISORS
KAREN STANDAL - MARSHALLS AND DENT

COMPLETION GUARANTOR
MEDIA RISK MANAGEMENT

SPECIAL THANKS
DEPARTMENT OF SUSTAINABILITY AND ENVIRONMENT (VIC)
COUNTRY FIRE AUTHORITY
PARKS VICTORIA
ARTHUR RYLAH INSTITUTE
HEALESVILLE SANCTUARY, ZOOS VICTORIA
WILDHAVEN
SHERBROOKE LYREBIRD SURVEY GROUP
SNAKE HANDLER
FULL FLIGHT CONSERVATION CENTRE
WILDLIFE VICTORIA
AERIAL CAMERA SYSTEMS
WILD ACTION

JUDITH TURNHAM
CHRIS HUMFREY
JANE USHER
ESTHER RODEWALD
SUE SEEARY
PETER WORLAND
JUDY ROBERTSON
JOHN GIBBONS
MARK STREET
ELIZABETH PARER-COOK
GRAEME LORIMER
BIOSPHERE PTY LTD
FIONA CORKE
RON WATERS
STEPHEN PLATT

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS
STEPHEN AMEZDROZ
DIONE GILMOUR
TONY WRIGHT

PRODUCED BY
SCREEN AUSTRALIA
AND
DECEMBER FILMS PTY LTD

DEVELOPED AND PRODUCED IN ASSOCIATION WITH
FILM VICTORIA
AND
THE AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION

COMMISSIONING EDITOR
ALAN ERSON

A NATIONAL DOCUMENTARY PROGRAM

© 2010 SCREEN AUSTRALIA, DECEMBER FILMS PTY LTD, FILM VICTORIA, and THE
AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION

FOR NATURE

SERIES EDITOR
JANET HESS

SUPERVISING PRODUCER
JANICE YOUNG

SENIOR PRODUCER
LAURA METZGER

PRODUCTION MANAGER
JULIE SCHAPIRO THORMAN

PRODUCTION ASSISTANT
JAYNE JUN

RE-RECORDING MIXER
ED CAMPBELL

HD ONLINE EDITOR
PATRICK KRASS

SERIES PRODUCER
BILL MURPHY

EXECUTIVE IN CHARGE
WILLIAM GRANT

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
FRED KAUFMAN

This program was produced by December Films Pty Ltd which is solely responsible for its content.

© 2011 WNET.ORG Properties LLC
All rights reserved

WEB CREDITS

PRODUCER
KATE FULTON

ASSOCIATE PRODUCER
CHIE WITT

PRODUCTION ASSISTANCE
SAM CHUNG
PIYALI SYAM

DESIGNER
JOY WEEENG

PAGEBUILDING
BRIAN SANTALONE

TECHNICAL DIRECTOR
BRIAN LEE

CREATIVE DIRECTOR
NICK MILLER

DIRECTOR OF DIGITAL STRATEGY
DAVID HIRMES

SENIOR DIRECTOR
DANIEL B. GREENBERG

WRITERS
SAM CHUNG
PIYALI SYAM