Stringers Knob Fire Spotting Tower is an experimental single-pole fire detecting tower erected in 1941.
Following the devastating 'Black Friday' fires which swept across large areas of Victoria in 1939, a state-wide search for improved fire detection measures was begun. The Forests Commission, given sole control over fire protection and prevention on public land in Victoria, installed a network fire spotting towers and phone lines across Gippsland. Stringer's Knob Fire tower was an experimental design commissioned by the Inspector of Forests in East Gippsland and built by Clem Heather. The height and location of the tower enabled unrestricted views of the surrounding forest as far as Marlo, over 40 kilometres away. The fire spotters were required to spend the week at the tower alone, sleeping in a tin shed at the foot of the tower, and spending the rest of the time in the small wooden cabin atop the pole. Spotters radioed through sightings of suspect smoke. Stringers Knob Fire Spotting Tower was in use until the 1960s.
Stringers Knob Fire Spotting Tower is constructed of two poles of yellow stringybark and red ironbark bolted together. The wooden observation cabin, measuring 2.5 metres square, is enclosed on all sides, but the top third comprises windows, enabling a 360 degree view of the State Forest. Access to the cabin was via steel bars on the 28m high pole, and entered through a hole in the cabin floor. Two resting platforms were situated on the pole and the tower is anchored by six cable guys set in concrete bases.
This site is part of the traditional land of the Gunaikurnai people.
How is it significant?
Stringers Knob Fire Spotting Tower is of historic and scientific (technical) significance to the state of Victoria.
Why is it significant?
Stringers Knob Fire Spotting Tower is of historical significance for its association with the aftermath of the 1939 bushfires, demonstrating the efforts of the Forests Commission to improve fire safety in Victoria. Its unusual design is of historical importance in the development of safety measures for Victorians.
Stringers Knob Fire Spotting Tower is of scientific (technical) significance for its experimental design and unusual construction technique.