Saturday, February 7, 2009

46.4

That is the temperature it got to in Melbourne today and it's still 46.  The state is on fire like it was on what came to be known as Ash Wednesday in 1983 when around 70 people died.   The north winds are gale force and a fire burning 500 meters south of my home is being pushed away from us at the moment but that means it is getting into the foothills where there are hundreds of houses and mayb into the Ferntree Gully National Park.

We have packed a couple of changes of clothes and have our photos in boxes, ready to throw into the cars if we need to get out.  The plan is that Raels, Meg and the dogs will go to a frends place.  I'll stay and watch for ember attack if I need to.  I will do that because I am on the edge of suburbia and whilst we back onto the national park, to the west and just across our road is a heavily built up area.  So if the fire gets to us it will be a major disaster of unprecedented dimensions.

Here are some photos taken from my front veranda and as I write tehe sky is getting darker with smoke.

The first one is looking towards the city and normally we can see the skyscrapers in the city centre 40 kilometers away.  Now the visibility is down to around 5k.

The next two show the smoke in the skies above our house.

The wind is still strong and as hot as any I have ever felt and this is the hottest day of my life in a year where we have already had one stretch with four days in a row over 40C. 

In the city the Plane Trees are dropping their leaves from water stress and if this contnues many of them may well die before the Autumn.  Even in my own back yard in which agapanthus grow as weeds, they too are brown and dying.

I think we'll be OK but having worked in fire areas as a cop years ago I know how fickle they can be.

8 comments:

blue said...

goodness Loz, traveling mercies, my friend.

Hope said...

Make sure you tell us when things change...

Loz said...

It's almost 7 pm here now and the cool change has started to come through with temeratures now down to around 30. The situation near home is under control but the change may cause problems in other parts of the state turning the fires back onto towns. No reports of any deaths yet, although one bloke reportedly has burns to 50% of his body, allegedly fighting the fires in shorts and thongs.

Thanks for caring folks.

Dorothy said...

Loz how nice to see you visit my site..I'll be praying for your area and that something positive happens to place everything under control. I've not heard this on the news so many of us aren't aware of what's going on.

I've been by here a few times and good to feel your coming back to bloggin...

Dorothy from grammology
grammology.com

Romany Angel said...

OMG Loz....this is what I have been dreading all day. So far only a couple of fires here but nothing too serious.

I hope everything will stay ok for you. You and your family are in my thoughts.

Dorothy said...

Loz I comment last night and it didn't show up..glad to see you back to posting more hope all is well..

Dorothy from grammology
grammology.com

Loz said...

We are fine folks, the fire near home is out and I've just walked down there to see how close it got and the answer to that is maybe around 700-800 as the crow flies.

But I've just been listening to the news on radio and it seems at least one small country town, Marysville, has pretty much been wiped out. I haven't heard of casualties but with that type of devastation bad news is likely.

terri said...

I can't imagine how stressful it must be. Hope things take a turn for the better and soon!