The Fire Commissioner, Phil Koperberg, announced that 'the state is ablaze' and foolishly commented that the exceptions were the Blue Mountains and Royal National Park. Sure enough, the next morning they too were alight. The fire started at the dump area on Bells line of Road, just west of the Mt Wilson turnoff. The 5 mile was blocked within an hour. More fires appeared as soon as they were put out. The main head of the fire went across the 5 mile and across Bells Line of Road between Mt Charles and Mt Banks. Some days later it came back round Wynnes Rocks Road and up under The Cabin.

Interstate brigades were called in to assist. South Australian brigades stationed at Wollangambe were appalled at the fire in the trees as they were only used to grass fires. Bowens Creek Road was also blocked and both villages were isolated. The smoke in places was thicker than fog .There was no power for days. Finally, a generator was brought to the Zig Zag to give Mt Wilson power.

There was huge support from the village for this fire, helping with cooking meals which were served in the Village Hall. A number of brigades also slept in the Hall, the Study Centre and other places. Libby remembers that she always did the early shift at the Hall, stepping over sleeping bodies to reach the kitchen where she did the all the night time washing up and then set up the Hall, as the dawn came, for the breakfast cooks. She remembers that ladies were not welcome on the trucks in those days but now we have a female captain!

It was during this fire that the rake hoe line from Wynnes Rocks Road down to the bottom of the Zig Zag was put in. It is reopened when there is a fire.