Sunday, February 15, 2009

Victoria's inferno

Victorian fires 8 Feb '09
nifwlseirff on flickr
The Victorian fires are still burning a week on, but are much more controlled. So many people have been killed, and many, many more have lost their homes, pets, friends, family. Wildlife has also suffered greatly.

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.

The DSE fire map, and the list of incidents on the CFA website are useful websites to track the fires, but they are not coping very well with the load on their web servers.

The ABC, SBS, The Age and other many other Australian news providers have dedicated areas of their websites covering the bushfires and recovery efforts.

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