Latest News

Check CFA Current Incidents for information about any current fires and incidents.


Wed 25th Nov Fire Restrictions - a timely reminder
Sun 15th Nov Fire restrictions to commence soon
Please note that fire restrictions will come into force across the Yarra Ranges on Monday 30 November 2015. No burning off is permitted from this date without a permit.
Sun 25th Oct Vale - Ian McCollam
It is with great sadness that the Sassafras & Ferny Creek Fire Brigade marks the sudden and tragic passing last Friday of our member and friend Ian McCollam.
Ian joined our brigade in 2007, along with his daughter Courtney and eldest son Angus. His younger son Hugh joined the junior brigade a year later. That said much about Ian's priorities; for his involvement in brigade, as in other aspects of his life, was foremost about family.
Ian juggled competing priorities as we all do. Most notably his work as a senior company executive placed significant demands on his time. Despite this, he gave what he could to the brigade, along the way attaining basic and advanced qualifications was a firefighter. Significantly he was also able to make a contribution during the difficult fire season that was 2009, to our junior brigade and to other activities such as Carols on the Mountain with which he always helped out.
Ian also made a wider contribution to our community in other ways, most notably through the Olinda-Ferny Creek Football Club. On behalf of the Sassafras & Ferny Creek Fire Brigade and the wider CFA family we offer our deepest sympathies to Christine, Angus, Courtney and Hugh and all of Ian's his family and friends.
We would also like to acknowledge the support to the brigade from CFA, and in particular acknowledge those members from the Upwey Fire Brigade who assisted on Friday.
Sat 15th Aug Service Honoured at Sassafras-Ferny Creek
Longtime Sassafras-Ferny Creek members were honoured at the brigade's annual dinner last night for service to CFA and to the broader community. Brigade President and former captain John Schauble was the surprised recipient of CFA life membership, only the third member of the brigade to be accorded this honour. Other members were recognised for 30 and 45 years CFA service.

Full details of the awards can be found here (icon 110KB).
Sat 14th Mar Fire restrictions end 23 March
Fire restrictions will be lifted at 1am on Monday, 23 March 2015 across the whole of Yarra Ranges Shire. Burning off is permitted in the Shire for bushfire fuel reduction purposes, not for general waste disposal. Please consider the interests of your neighbours when burning off.
Sun 4th Jan Summer's here... it's time for action!
This weekend was a reminder of the need to have your bushfire plans and preparations in place as the Dandenongs move into the high fire danger period over the coming weeks. We're here to help and there are three important community events coming up over the next fortnight that will help!
  • Sun 11 January: An open day at the Ferny Creek Community Fire Refuge, 10am-4pm. Especially relevant for those living in the One Tree Hill/School Road area. This open day is an opportunity for the community visit and view the refuge, and gain an understanding of how it works. A two-hour Bushfire Planning Workshop will also be held to help people develop a personal bushfire plan. Contact CFA's district office on 87391300 for further details.
  • Wed 14 January: Fire Ready meeting at the Fire Station, Clarkmont Road, Sassafras 7.30pm. This one-hour session will help update you on the current situation and basic information to assist you with planning and preparedness for bushfire.
  • Sat 17 January: Fire Ready meeting at the Fire Station, Clarkmont Road, Sassafras 2pm. This one-hour session will help update you on the current situation and basic information to assist you with planning and preparedness for bushfire.


Wed 24th Dec Santa does his rounds...
It wouldn't be Christmas Eve without Santa doing the rounds of Sassafras and Ferny Creek on the back of the fire truck! Photo gallery...
Sat 13th Dec Carols on the Mountain... what a fantastic evening
Around 600 people turned out for the annual Carols on the Mountain community event. For once, the weather shone with not even a hint of the traditional downpour! Photo gallery...
Fri 21st Nov Fire restrictions to commence early
Please note that fire restrictions will come into force across the Yarra Ranges on Monday 8 December 2014. No burning off is permitted from this date without a permit.
Wed 12th Nov Get ready for the 2014 Ridge Top Brigades Family Fun and Information Day!
It's on Sunday 23 November! Lots of action for the whole family - at the Olinda Hall in Olinda-Monbulk Road from 10am-3pm.
Flyer (icon 484KB)
Sat 28th Jun A change of leadership
After eight years, John Schauble relinquishes the role of brigade Captain this week.

“It has been a enormous privilege to lead the brigade during some really challenging times,” said John, who first joined Sassafras-Ferny Creek as a junior member in 1973.

Not in the least of these were the 2009 bushfires and their aftermath. “2009 fundamentally changed Victorians’ relationship with fire in the landscape,” he said.

John, who works as strategic advisor to Victoria’s new Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley, signaled to the brigade a year ago that he would not seek a fifth term as Captain. He will remain active in the brigade and takes on the role of brigade President from 1 July.

“Being a brigade captain is a very demanding role, much more so than a decade ago. So it’s both good for me and for the brigade to have a change of leadership, which brings fresh approaches and some new thinking.” Newly elected Captain John Schurink brings a wealth of emergency management experience to the role. He joined CFA in 1978 and our brigade a couple of years ago, recently building a new home in Ferny Creek. John was previously captain at Buninyong, near Ballarat, for five years.

Following a 30-year career in Victoria’s ambulance service, John now works for the Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority (ESTA), which runs Victoria’s 000 service.

Profiles of John Schauble and John Schurink here (icon 46KB)
Fri 20th Jun Honouring 60 years of service...
“Taking Bob for a drive” has taken on a whole new meaning at Sassafras-Ferny Creek after the brigade took the unusual step of “naming” a vehicle in honour of its longest-serving and most distinguished member.

Bob Horner has been given the rare honour of having a truck named for him - there being only one other CFA brigade in the region to have a named vehicle.

The announcement coincided with Bob receiving the CFA 60-year service medal at the brigade’s annual dinner in Sherbrooke recently. Both CFA Chief Officer Euan Ferguson and Victoria’s Fire Services Commissioner Craig Lapsley attended the event, along with Latrobe MHR Jason Wood and Yarra Ranges Councillor Noel Cliff.

Chief Officer Ferguson said it was “enormous privilege” for him to present Bob Horner with an award marking 60 years of continuous service to the brigade, the CFA and the fire services more broadly. “These a rare honours indeed,” Mr Ferguson said.

Twice Captain of the brigade, Bob’s career has also involved extensive service to the Dandenong Ranges Fire Brigades Group and to the rural volunteer firefighters’ association. He is also a recipient of the Australian Fire Services Medal.

Sassafras Pumper, the truck named in his honour is the actual prototype for a standard light pumper vehicle now in service across Victoria. Bob played a key role in helping develop the truck in the early 2000s along with Mr Lapsley in his then role as Deputy Chief Officer at CFA. The vehicle designed was based in part on an earlier brigade-owned vehicle at Sassafras.

In announcing the naming, Sassafras-Ferny Creek Captain John Schauble said permission to have the pumper named in Bob’s honour has been given “instantly”.

“Bob’s contribution, not just to our community, but to the fire service across Victoria is widely recognised,” he said. “We thought it absolutely fitting to have the very vehicle he helped developed for the State named in his honour.”

Read more about Bob... (icon 422KB)

Bob Horner
Above: CFA Chief Officer Euan Ferguson presents Bob Horner with his 60-year service award.

Bob Horner
Above: The door inscription on the Sassafras-Ferny Creek Pumper
Fri 20th Jun More service honoured at Sassafras
A number of members were honoured at the brigade’s annual dinner for service to CFA and during the 2009 bushfires.

Latrobe MHR Jason Wood presented Lieutenant Paul Hicks and past president Win King-Smith with National Emergency Medals for service during the 2009 fires.

CFA Chief Officer Euan Ferguson presented lieutenants John Tomada and Geoff Horner with National Medals marking 15 years of diligent service to CFA. Clasps to the National Medal were also presented to Captain John Schauble, firefighter Simon Neill and brigade member Bob Horner.

CFA service medals were also awarded to brigade member Bob Wood (25 years), Simon Neill (35 years) and brigade member Brian Stevens (35 years).

The Firefighter of the Year award was bestowed for the second successive year on Firefighter Lyndy Jewell. Simon J. Neill received the Officers’ Award.

Full details of the awards can be found here... (icon 273KB)
Wed 2nd Apr Daylight saving ends = change smoke alarm battery
Daylight saving ends on Sunday morning, 6 April. It's also a reminder to change your smoke alarm battery and make sure you have a house fire action plan. More information...
Mon 31st Mar Fire restrictions to end
CFA fire restrictions will end in the Yarra Ranges from 1am on Monday 7 April. Burning off is allowed from this date for fuel reduction purposes in line with the local government bylaws. Please visit for details.
Tue 25th Mar Planned fuel reduction burns in the local area
The Department of Environment and Primary Industries and CFA wil be conducting a number of fuel reduction burns across the Dandenongs over the next few days. This could lead to significant smoke in the area. Please note that Fire Restrictions remain in force across Yarra Ranges Shire and private burning off without a permit is not permitted until these are lifted. For information about planned burns, go to
Fri 7th Feb Fire weather warning for the weekend
CFA has declared a Total Fire Ban for the whole state of Victoria for the weekend (8th and 9th February 2014) ahead of hot, dry and windy conditions.

With severe and extreme conditions predicted, Chief Officer Euan Ferguson said he wanted people to be vigilant and prepared.

"The whole state is very dry and ready to burn. With hot, windy conditions predicted over the weekend, the fire danger is extreme," he said.

"A fire could start anywhere in the state and if one starts, it will travel fast.

"Now is the time to talk to your family and friends, make your plans and prepare.

"If you’re thinking of travelling somewhere this weekend, be aware of the conditions in that area and stay informed."

Fire Danger Ratings over the weekend are very high, severe and extreme in parts of the state on Sunday. As these are updated regularly, please keep up-to-date by checking the VicEmergency website.
Fri 7th Feb On remembering Black Saturday
Is commemorating disaster about honouring the dead, learning lessons or making myths? Sassafras-Ferny Creek Captain John Schauble writes in The Age...
Due to the extreme heat predicted for tomorrow Sunday 2 February, the popular Ridge Top Brigades Family Fun and Information Day at the Olinda Hall has been cancelled this year. This is a big disappointment to us, but it was felt best to make an early call. The event will be rescheduled for later in the year. If you need bushfire preparedness information, feel free to contact the brigade or call in at the station on any Sunday morning or Wednesday evening.
Sun 19th Jan Mountain highs
Claire Thomas is a local writer... Here's her story published in 'The Sunday Age' on moving to the hills, learning about bushfire preparedness and the CFA's place in our local community. More...
Sat 11th Jan There's a hot spell coming!
Victoria is about to experience the onset of some VERY hot weather. The main risk in our local area will be less from fires than from the health consequences of a sudden burst of high temperatures. Please ensure that you stay cool and keep hydrated (especially make sure children drink plenty of water). Here's a link to some good advice...
Sat 11th Jan Planned burning in The Basin
The Basin Fire Brigade plans to conducted a controlled burn off at Wicks Reserve tomorrow, weather conditions permitting. More... (icon 1,421KB).

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