Prime Minister Scott Morrison after placing a flower at a memorial service at the Melbourne Exhibition building for the 10 Year Anniversary of the 2009 Victorian Bushfires on Monday, February 4, 2019. One hundred and eighty people were killed and around two thousand homes destroyed when a series of fires swept across Victoria in the Black Saturday bushfires in January 2009. (AAP Image/David Crosling)
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has paused to remember Australia's deadliest fires, as tight-knit communities prepare to commemorate a decade since the devastation.
"Today, we remember one of our darkest days. We remember the 173 Victorians who lost their lives. We remember the bravery of first responders. And we remember the courage of strangers," Mr Andrews tweeted.
Today, we remember one of our darkest days. We remember the 173 Victorians who lost their lives. We remember the bravery of first responders. And we remember the courage of strangers. pic.twitter.com/qDR3O9emae— Dan Andrews (@DanielAndrewsMP) February 6, 2019
"Today will be tough for a lot of people, for a lot of reasons. We feel your grief and loss - but also your strength and spirit. Know that you are never alone. The whole of Victoria stands with you. Today - and every day."
Today we remember the 173 people who perished in the Black Saturday bushfires and our hearts go out to all those who lost someone they love. pic.twitter.com/kA71VhQzhv— Bill Shorten (@billshortenmp) February 6, 2019
Numerous survivors have told AAP they will not be attending commemorative events and were not interested in speaking on Thursday.
"I think people will just be glad to get it over with, and then there's no more anniversaries. We can move on," Marysville survivor Tony Thompson said of the 2009 fires, which also left 400 injured and destroyed more than 2000 properties.
This week marks 10 years since Victoria’s Black Saturday.— NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) February 5, 2019
On Thursday the #NSWRFS will join communities and emergency services to reflect on the most devastating and destructive fires of our time. #BlackSaturday pic.twitter.com/EPaVdjJipl
At Marysville's Gallipoli Park oval, where hundreds of people gathered to shelter from the fires, a commemorative event will be staged.
The small town 100km northeast of Melbourne was one of the worst-hit communities and 40 people died in and around the area.
One of those affected, Marysville resident Daryl Hull, fled the fires and spent four hours in an ornamental lake.
Despite losing everything, he returned to live in the small town a year later.
"It wasn't really much of a decision. I just went to Marysville, and even though it was pretty wrecked, I've always loved it," he said.
Other communities including Kinglake West, St Andrews, Strathewen, Flowerdale and Yarra Glen will be holding their own services on Thursday.
© AAP 2019