Wandilo Forest Fire MemorialPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Michael Powell

The monument commemorates the eight firefighters who were killed and the three who were seriously injured in the Wandilo Forest fire in April 1958. 

At around 10.45am on the morning of April 5, a fire was reported near radiata pine plantations in the Glencoe Wandilo area. In an attempt to stop the fire spreading, several fire trucks went down a pine break at the back of a property, where suddenly the wind speed and direction changed.

Attempting to escape, two trucks became bogged in deep sand. Another was stopped in its tracks by a damaged gearbox and could not move, leaving firefighters at the mercy of the inferno raging above them.  Those who perished were : Remo Quaggiato, 25, and Charles Dolling, 45, from Nangwarry; Bertram Wilson, 51, from Tantanoola; Victor Fensom, 45, from Mount Gambier; Maurice Treloar, 27, Francis Burdett, 49, and Walter Pearce, 46, all from Glencoe ; and Bernadus Damhuis, 16, from Tantanoola.

In the public outcry that followed, an inquest found the men had been failed by their equipment, with vehicle fuel lines vaporising in the heat and truck cabins ill-equipped for survival situations. Forestry SA chief executive Jerome Coleman said the tragic event led to important changes for firefighters working in the south-east forestry industry.


Address:Wandilo Forest Road, Wandilo Forest, Wandilo, 5291
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.700218
Long: 140.676261
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
View Google Map


Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Disaster
Actual Event Start Date:05-April-1958
Actual Event End Date:05-April-1958


Approx. Monument Dedication Date:December-1998
Front Inscription

Wandilo Forest Fire Memorial

At this place, on Saturday April 5, 1958, eight firefighters lost their lives and three were seriously injured while fighting  a forest fire.

With the lessons learnt from this tragedy, major improvements have been made to equipment, training, communications and  cooperation with other agencies in combating fires.

Their tragic loss will not be forgotten.

Forestry SA
December 1998

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au