On 16 February 1983, more than 180 fires fanned by winds of up to 110km per hour (68 mph) caused widespread destruction across the states of Victoria and South Australia. According to Wikipedia, the fires were the deadliest in Australian history, until the Black Saturday bushfires in 2009.
In Victoria, 47 people died, while in South Australia there were 28 deaths.
Three years later, the CSIRO’s National Bushfire Research Centre arrived in the Northern Territory, making use of large vacant land tracts to carry out research.
Talent: Phil Cheney, Manager, Bushfire Research Unit
( To air: ABC-TV 7.30 Report, 16 October 1986, Duration : 05:40 )