Saturday, February 07, 2009

The terrible fires

from w
Yesterday was a tragedy for so many people with fires similar to the Ash Wednesday bushfires of 1983. Now the stories are coming out and probably up to forty people have died, towns demolished, properties burnt, forests gone. Some of our friends can't get through on the phone-line to relatives who have been in the fire areas and the wait is terrible for them. Go to this site for stories and photos.

(Later - Monday morning)
Though the weather is cooler, over thirty fires continue to burn throughout Victoria. Tragic news keeps coming through of more bodies found in cars and destroyed homes. The volunteer firefighters are certainly heroes, also the Red Cross, and police with the difficult ongoing tasks. The ABC radio 774 has reports all day to assist people.

Here is an update from the Age newspaper;
Bushfire toll climbs as crews battle blazes across Victoria
February 9, 2009 - 6:28AM

The death toll in the Victorian bushfires has risen to 108, the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) says.Firefighters have worked through the night to battle dozens of fires that continue to burn across the state. There were 31 active fires across Victoria as of 5.30am, the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) and the Country Fire Authority (CFA) said.

At least 750 homes have been destroyed and more than 330,000 hectares burnt out, while authorities said some fires could take weeks to contain.

The DSE and CFA said the fire causing greatest concern is near Beechworth, in the state's northeast. The blaze has burnt 30,000 hectares and continues to threaten the communities of Stanley, Bruarong, Dederang, Gundowring, Gundowring Upper, Kancoona, Kancoona South, Coral Bank, Glenn Creek and Running Creek.

The fire front has crossed the Yackandandah-Dederang Rd into the Mt Big Ben area, a joint DSE and CFA statement said.

The latest death toll, announced by the DSE at 6am this morning, surpasses the toll from the 1983 Ash Wednesday bushfires, in which 75 people died in Victoria and South Australia, and the Black Friday bushfires of 1939, which killed 71.

How you can help:

TELEPHONE lines in fire damaged areas have been destroyed and mobile phone networks are vital for emergency services to remain in contact with other groups. Residents should refrain from calling people in the bushfire zones on mobile phones.

BLOOD donations will be needed to help burns victims. To donate call the Red Cross Blood Bank on 131 495.

EVACUATION centres are recording the names and addresses of everyone who comes through the doors. To search for missing family and friends call 1800 727 077.

RED Cross is co- ordinating donations of household and personal items for those affected by the fires.

CASH donations can be made at Geelong's Town Hall.

PET food and supplies can be donated at the RSPCA.(though I don't think you need to donate gum leaves for Sam, who trod on a floor of embers to escape the bushfires. He was rescued near Mirboo North Gippsland and got help at the Southern Ash Wildlife Shelter in Rawson.)

Labels: ,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have only just come across your blog today, after looking up the Geelong area in Vitoria. I live in Scotland on a small Island and have a friend in the Geelong area. I am just wondering if the fires are near to Geelong?
I would appreciate if you would reply.
Thank you.

2:29 AM  
Blogger Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

The fires are not near Geelong this time. We had our turn in the Ash Wednesday fires. The ABC radio 774 has emergency warnings and news all day so that communication is very important. My friend is relieved though when after twelve hours she got news that her daughter was safe.

1:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for replying. It's very sad news about the fires and all the people that have lost their lifes.

2:07 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home