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These fires are the most vicious and destructive that Victoria has seen. What makes it so much worse as many seem to have been deliberately lit, or caused by poorly maintained electricity supply equipment, in a month where everything was bone dry, almost no rain for over a month, and temperatures soared (46 degrees C in Melbourne).
The firefighters were overwhelmed, entire towns have been burnt, as the high winds drove the fire at incredible speeds and awful intensity. The rebuilding process is going to be long, difficult and emotional.
One website has gathered together many links to various charities, appealing for donations to help those affected by the fires. They also list suggestions for helping other than offering donations. Zoos Victoria is also appealing for donations to help wildlife, Healesville Sanctuary is temporarily closed, their staff are working hard to help save injured wildlife.