Monday, 9 February 2009


It is now Monday morning.
The death toll from the horrific fires in Victoria has risen to 108, and there is more to come.
There have been 750 plus homes destroyed, as listed so far. Whole towns have disappeared off the map.
There are still 20 plus fires burning out of control around the state, plus some other fires that have been contained.
The worst of them now is around the Beechworth area. An area I often visited for a day out when I lived in Junee, Wagga and Urana over many years. It is a very bushy area at the foothills of the Victorian Alp, with lots of nice little shops to sticky beak through, with wineries and farmlands. Like most of the areas burned around Victoria I guess. Of all the areas burned it is the one I am most familiar with. Pete and I went there for a few days for a short honeymoon. Yackandanda is also under threat from fires at the moment.
Today is cooler and the firies are hoping to make progress with the fires today because the temperatures are predicted to rise again after tomorrow.
It is absolutely unbelievable that a few thousand miles directly to the north of the Victorian fires, in the north of Queensland. they are having record flooding and peoples homes and livelihoods are being destroyed by water.
This weekend has been a terrible time that is going to go down in our history books. It has been dubbed "Black Saturday" and has become Australia's biggest natural disaster. Previous to this the worst fires were also in Victoria in 1983 when 75 lives were lost, that one was known as "Ash Wednesday".
This morning on the news they have been talking about some of the fires being deliberately lit and the whole fire area has been declared a crime scene as investigations into the worst hit areas are began.
A 31 year old male has been arrested and charged with lighting fires in Peat's Ridge in N.S.W. That fire is now under control.
There are so many stories on the media of people loosing absolutely everything, their homes, their farms, their pets, and their livelihoods. Worst of all their family members, friends and neighbors.
When the Junee fires were on a few years ago, I remember the way all the towns people pulled together and supported each other, and how the surrounding communities were there to help too. I was so proud, after the initial shock wore off, of my little towns community spirit and it's inhabitants. I am getting that sense again from some of the stories I have heard and seen on the news.We are Aussies, and the old spirit of mate ship that was so evident in our armed forces during it's history is still here.
After the Junee fires one of the soccer club families had lost their house. The soccer club people got together and made hundreds of paper flowers for the lady of the house after the clean up. When she came home one afternoon to her rented home, they had decorated her whole front yard with them. She was upset at loosing her garden and that cheered her up and got her laughing again. My workmate Leonie was one of the main instigators for that prank.
I so hope that the weather change we have today will be enough to get the fires under control before it warms up again.
Love Linda.
It is Monday night.
There are new fires tonight and the death toll has risen to 130. it has been predicted that the death toll may rise to over 200.
The little school where I work is having an appeal of their own to go to the fire stricken people. I will go and buy some tinned food tomorrow and put it in a box to go with their stuff. Doug, the principal at the school said that they were going to take it to a local radio station who is appealing for food, linen, clothing etc for the victims. They said on that radio station today that they had already filled up one shipping container to be sent, and are working on their second. Others are helping in kind with manpower.
There are appeals elsewhere.....everywhere. Everybody is trying to help the best they can, if not with money then with goods. I should go to the blood bank and donate as they are asking for blood too for burns victims. I am a registered donor but have not given since moving here to Canberra. The cricketers and footballers are giving their payments and takings just to name a few others and the govt has help in place too. It will be a long road back for the affected communities.
I heard they caught another man today who had lit a fire in one of the badly affected areas in Victoria. What a moron. Why?
A new fire threat has been reported in the Healsville area north of Melbourne. Another area of great natural beauty at risk of being destroyed. It is also another area that is often badly hit fires because of the thick bush and hilly terrain around there.
I have not heard anything much about what is happening to the wildlife. I can imagine. I guess with all the damage done it is the last thing on peoples minds at the moment.
Work was a breeze tonight with the cooler temperatures and we handled it easily after the heat of last week.
Kudos to our Prime Minister who is spending a lot of time down there in the fire area and helping and supporting its victims. He stayed there today even though it was a parliamentary sitting day.
Thank you everyone who commented on my fire posts, I appreciate your concern. The fire danger is not over yet. Say a prayer for them all.
Love Linda.


b said...

I was checking in with you to see what you had to say about the fires. The world is watching and worrying for your country. God bless!


Merle said...

Dear Linda ~~ Thank you so much for your concern, but I think I am safe,
as I live right in town at Shepp -- about an hour to Beechworth, also Bendigo and Seymour, so they are all around. Thank goodness it is cooler.
But I have been very upset about the terrible losses of life and homes and everything else. Thank you for being so concerned about the fires and deaths etc. Take care, my friend,
Love, Merle.

Kat Neely Jones said...

Linda, all I heard on the news was "Wildfires in Australia" and they didn't really say where, so I wanted to make sure you're okay. What a horrible thing to happen - I can't understand why anyone would set fires like that in a tinder dry country. I'm so sorry about the loss of life - it's just so senseless.

I'm glad to hear that you and yours are safe.

Thinking of you

Bimbimbie said...

It's cruel isn't it, so much flooding above me and where it's needed wont get any of it.

Shadow said...

everytime is see these stories and visuals on the news i think of you. stay safe.

Beth said...

Thank you so much, Linda May, for posting updates about the fires. I can only echo what others have said. In situations like this, we are all ship mates.