Sunday, February 8, 2009

26 Dead and rising

Towns of Marysville, Kinglake, Bunyip and Kilmore devastated and the death toll rising. I remember during Ash Wednesday in 1983 bodies were still being discovered days after the main fire fronts moved through. It also took days for the coroner to visit the scenes of each death. I had police colleages who had to mind the bodies in situ for days, many of whom never recovered and left the police force within a year.

We are safe and were never really under threat but it is a stark reminder of the harshness and that despite the cooler temperatures, ten major fires are still burning in the state. We have had 15 years of drought and the bush is tinder dry and we are only at the start of what is our hottest month. More 40 degree days will come and with them probably more firestorms.

Thanks to everyone who has commented. If you are interested in reading the news then visit the Herald Sun website.

****************************************************
Almost 8 pm now and the death toll rises - 65 and climbing. I watched the news and entire streets of houses are gone in places as far apart as Bendigo, Kinglake and Marysville. Narbethong, near Marysville is now under threat and the fire up that way is burning on an 80 kilometer front. Yesterday when the day was at its hottest and the fire near home was being blown away from us I had intended to stay at home and fight if I could. But the firestorm this time around has destroyed everythin in its path. Any people who have stayed must surely have presihed. I guess as the week unfolds we'll find out the full extent of the horror.

8 comments:

Lady Penelope said...

After the recent anniversary of the 2003 Canberra Bush Fires - your short posts still invokes many emotions in me. At the time my children were 3 & 1. If the wind changed to help the worse affected areas - it was coming directly our way. It didn't. But I lived from day to day with a car fully packed, two children enjoying the constant stream of police and fire trucks trundling down our quiet street. And the air thick with smoke and embers.

My story has nothing on those at the front, those families that lost loved ones and of course those brave men and women who worked their butts off!

Vale all those who have lost lives in these Victorian fires.

Loz said...

It's now 7:10 pm on Sunday night and the reports continue to come in of the utter devastation. Latest count is 65 confirmed dead, but the more than 700 houses destroyed and dozens of cars caught on highways as the flames rushed over them seem to ensure that the toll will rise. Some news reports are now saying that they may approach more than 100 which makes them by far the deadliest fires in our history.

Romany Angel said...

Thank God you are safe Loz. I can only imagine how devastated all Victorians must be by this terrible, horrific tragedy. My thoughts are with you my friend.

blue said...

oh Loz...I'm so so sorry. I know your background makes it difficult to not want to do more. I'm thinking of you. Do let me know how you are. I'll be checking this blog and both of my emails for you.

skipper said...

Loz;

So glad you are safe. California has it's share of uncontrolled fires, and I know how fast and furious they can be. Stay safe....

Loz said...

Our little drama on Saturday afternoon when volunteer firefighters managed to get the fire near home under control fairly quickly now seems petty compared to what others are going through. I am fine and I thank you Blue and Gypsy for caring. If you do pray, please spare some thoughts for the survivors.

Peter (Worldman): said...

I just watched the news and they say that the toll is now over 100. This is really something awful. But because of firemen, police members and, probably, neighbours the number of dead might be limited.

In all evetn, it is a tragedy.

Loz said...

9:15am on Tuesday morning here Peter and the toll is now 173 dead. Word this morning is that more towns are now under threat.