ON THE afternoon of St Patrick's Day on Saturday, March 17, 2018, people across the south-west went about their business on a sweltering hot, windy day.
The fire risk had been deemed severe and incident management teams were in place in Warrnambool, Heywood and Colac in case the unthinkable happened. Just a few hours later, the south-west was on fire.
Hundreds fled to relief centres as more than 300 firefighters spent the night fighting the catastrophic blazes that destroyed 40,000 hectares, 22 houses, 40 sheds and thousands of livestock around Cobden, Camperdown, Terang, Gazette and The Sisters.
To mark the one-year anniversary of the St Patrick's Day bushfires, this Saturday The Standard talks to those battling to recover, those who have taken up the fight for compensation and a safer power network, examines what happened on that night from hell and the impact it had on communities across the region.
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