It has been established that Australian Aborigines had inhabited what became Campaspe Plains Station and, as nomads, their use of fire in the district for various purposes at different times (e.g. Jones 1969, Hughes and Sullivan 1981, Nicholson 1981, Kershaw et al. In Press) can be assumed.
It is not known to what extent, if any, the district was burnt during the ‘Black Thursday’ bushfires of 6 February 1851. Fires were reported to have been deliberately lit in the 3 February and 17 March 1865 issues of The McIvor Times and Rodney Advertiser. The Heathcote newspapers often reported bushfires in the surrounding districts, and smoke was described as being in all directions about the township in the issue of 5 February 1874. Following an intense summer storm in 1898, the dams and household tanks had been filled by runoff and were overflowing.
|"... People however soon began to find that the water caught has an unmistakably smoky flavor, which may easily be accounted for by the fact that the atmosphere during the rain and for a long time before was much thickened by smoke from bushfires ..." (The McIvor Times and Rodney Advertiser, 17 February 1898).|