In VICTORIA'S Black Friday bushfires of 1939, 71 people died as 2 million hectares burnt.
In 1962, bushfires killed 32 people and destroyed 450 homes.
The 2005 fires killed four people and then the devastating Black Saturday bushfires 10 years ago claimed 173 lives.
On Thursday - Victoria's first Code Red day in almost a decade - a number of fires blazed across the region.
Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp singled out a 420-hectare fire north of Rochester as one of the biggest concerns for the state's firefighters.
The Black Saturday royal commission could not have been clearer: "The state [should] amend the Victoria planning provisions relating to bushfire to ensure that the provisions give priority to the protection of human life, [and] adopt a clear objective of substantially restricting development in the areas of highest bushfire risk."
Recent research is showing that people are ignoring warnings to leave their homes on catastrophic fire days despite fire authorities shifting the messaging from "stay or go" to urging people to leave early.
Professor Ross Bradstock, one of Australia's leading bushfire experts, ominously believes that if we are hit with a repeat of Black Saturday conditions, we can expect the same number of fatalities.
There are about 1 million homes in Australia that sit within 100 metres of bushland, which is considered high risk and most vulnerable to bushfire damage and loss of life.
Planning rules are strict, fire authorities are trying to keep residents alert, and governments are putting more money into fighting bushfires.
Of course, people have a right to live where they choose but as more people settle in fire-prone areas, the more important it is that those residents heed the warnings and advice of emergency experts.
We are still more than a week away from the arrival of summer but as the mercury hit 41.9 degrees on Thursday and smoke hovered over us from blazes across the region and beyond, it was clear that the fire season is already here.