The Linton bushfire was a wildfire that burned through private land and state forests near the township of Linton, Victoria, Australia on 2 December 1998. Firefighters from the Victorian state government's Department of Natural Resources and Environment and Country Fire Authority (CFA) were deployed to put out the fire. At approximately 8.45pm, two firefighting appliances and their crews were entrapped and engulfed in fire following an unexpected wind change. The Linton bushfire covered a maximum land of 660 hectares of private and public land.
The coronial inquest examining the fire and the deaths, were one of the longest-running inquests in the history of the state. The Coroner held that the two fire authorities involved (Department of Natural Resources and Environment and Country Fire Authority), and the lack of CFA training to volunteers contributed to the deaths. It was this inquest, that led to changes in safety operating procedures in the SA Country Fire Service and Victorian Country Fire Authority, relating to the Dead Man Zone.
The five Geelong West volunteer firefighters that died in the Linton fire were Christopher Evans, Garry Vredeveldt, Stuart Davidson, Jason Thomas and Matthew Armstrong.
Grovedale College, who lost a former pupil in the fire, instituted an award named after Jason Thomas, for the student who has best served the community.
- Report of the Investigation and Inquests into a Wildfire and the Deaths of Five Firefighters at Linton on 2 December 1998, State Coroner's Office, Victoria (11 January 2002)
- Reducing the Risk of Entrapment in Wildfires: A case study of the Linton fire, 2 December 1998(pdf)
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- Geelong West Fire Brigade
- ABC's 7:30 Report transcript - Coroner's report criticises CFA for 1998 bushfire tragedy