In January, 1939, Omeo was hit by a devastating bushfire.
The landmark Golden Age Hotel, the hospital, eleven shops, and twenty-two houses were destroyed.
Throughout the shire, two hundred houses and huts were lost.
Fifteen thousand sheep, eight thousand head of cattle, and two hundred horses were burnt to death.
As the fire had raced towards Omeo, a stockman from Cobungarra, Ernest Richards, had set out to try and save his wife and child. The young thirty-year-old’s charred body was found days later lying beside the burnt remains of his horse and dog.