Today-We had a visit from Hell
The content in this Hub is of a serious nature and may be disturbing to some readers!
Fire raging at Bunyip State Forest
Victoria is under Siege
Today the 07 day of February 2009 will go down in Victoria's history as a day of infamy.
Victoria is under siege as nine, and increasing seeming by the minute, major wildfires burnt out of control on Saturday, destroying homes and critically injuring at least one person. ( This number will definitely increase) As Melbourne recorded its hottest day ever and strong winds fanned flames, the Country Fire Authority (CFA)reported at least 80 homes, a golf club and a fire truck were destroyed.
Local Radio Station ABC 774 are broadcasting not stop with emergency and help, there are also streaming if you want updates.
If you would like to check condition our Bureau of Meteorology radar is available as a loop.
Scary isn't it?
Close to home
Thousands of firefighters and residents battled major fronts at Horsham, Coleraine, Weerite, Kilmore East, Bunyip, Churchill, Dargo, Murrindindi and Redesdale in all corners of the scorched state as the searing heat and high winds exceeded authorities' predictions of the worst fire conditions in the state's history "It is pretty well every part of the state except the far northwest," Deputy Chief Fire Officer John Haynes said.
A 2500 hectare fire at Horsham was the largest in the state, while another at the Bunyip State Park reached 2400 hectares, and one at Kilmore burned 2000 hectares.
A fire at King Lake was not even in this report . The Churchill fire in Gippsland was bearing down on coastal towns including Yarram, Langsbrough and Manns Beach. Mr Haynes said it would be about midnight, after a cool change had swept across the state, before fire fighters knew whether they had got on top of the blazes. "Our guys have been flat out trying to fight the fires and trying to pin them down a bit," Mr Haynes said. "The fire weather this morning and last night, in all of the figures, was extreme and off the scale." By 6pm, at least one house was destroyed at Coleraine in Victoria's west, three homes and the town's golf club at Horsham; in Melbourne's southeast three homes were destroyed at Lyndbrook; this is only about 5 km from my property , and we have been surrounded by smoke all day today.
North of Melbourne six houses were destroyed at Wandong
I want to get this published, we have been warned we will probably lose power as the main power line to Melbourne is under threat.
It is very hot
Saturday's top temperature in the city of 46.4 degrees Celsius smashed the previous record of 45.6C set on January 13, 1939 - known as Black Friday. Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Stuart Coombs said the highest recording was at Avalon, southwest of Melbourne which topped 47.9C at 2.50pm.
My old thermometer just held out and registered 49 C.
Just to give you an idea how hot that is : 45C = 116F (approx)
10 pm 07.02.09
For any information contact The Red Cross 1800 727 077
Police have just confirmed that 14 people have been killed around Victoria, and they expect the number to increase .
There has been wind change earlier but instead of helping the situation it has just create more and longer fronts.
11 major Firefronts and many smaller fires are burning out of control.
at least 100 properies have been reported destroyed so far.
Noon Sunday 08.02.09
Police have made the grim announcement that 26 people are confirmed dead and they expect the toll to rise. Some areas are still too dangerous to inspect!
Fires are burning out of control on 11 fronts and some fronts are expected to join later today.
Defence Force personal and resources are being deployed where possible.
One fire alone has burnt out an area of 120 thousand hectares.
Bob Brown the leader of the Green Party has made in my opinion an inappropriate comment blaming climate change. (more to come on that).
1 PM Sunday 08.02.09
Now confirmed that 35 people have lost their lives in this fire storm.
The little township of Marysville, north Melbourne has been razed.
7 pm Sunday 08.02.09
Tonight I sit here unashamedly with tears running down my face.
I have just watched the latest report on the bushfires. The report shows the breadth and utter devastation the fires have caused.
It has confirmed that the fires will now go down in history as the worst in Victoria's History.
The confirmed loss of life is 66 deaths and still expected to rise.
800+ homes have been destroyed.
The Main fire is burning on 100+ km front.
The Federal Government has announced that through "Centrelink" by tomorrow morning emergency funds will be available to people in need of funds.
11 am Monday 09.02.09
The tears are still flowing and the news is no better this morning, it has been confirmed that there are now 108 fellow Victorians have died as a result of the fires. I am in dread as very few names have been released and I know many people in the fire ravaged areas.
Our "Hell Weekend" has now reached the infamy of being not only Victoria's but Australia's worst natural disaster.
Among the deceased are Brian Naylor and his wife Morie, Brian was a muched loved and respected News reader on our major TV stations until he retired.
There are still 12 fires burning out of control and another 26 blazes being attended by over 3000 firefighters.
The Federal Government has kicked off a relief fund and many overseas Government are also committing much needed funds.
I believe at this stage all of our major banks are opening accounts to receive donations for people in need . Some only have the clothes they are wearing.
Our major banks are
all donations received will I'm sure go in full to the relief of those in need.
3 pm Monday 09.02.09
More of my fellow Victrorians have lost their lives, there are now officially 126 that have been killed in this fire disaster.
Not enough thanks can be given to our firefighters, most who are volunteers and most distressingly there has been some who have lost family members and their homes while fighting this brute of a fire.
New Zealand has announced they are sending about 100 fire fighters to help with the fires. A heartfelt thankyou TOF from all of us to NZ.
NSW are also sending up to 300 firefighters, even though they have there own fire fighting problems.
We have been preoccupied with our fires but ironically our Norhern state Queensland is experiencing flooding over the last week. A number of people have drowned and it is believed that a young boy has been taken by a crocodile. Yes folks I kid you not, this is true!!!!
10am Tuesday 10.02.09
I'm sorry to burden you with further bad news but it has unfortunately been announced that there are now 173 people confirmed dead.
Conditions have eased and firefighters are working furiously to contain many fires. It is feared that conditions will worsen towards the end of the week.
Federal Government was suspended yesterday and all Flags are flying at half mast.
The Victorian Premier Mr.Brumby announced that a Royal Commission is to be set up to investigate our "Hell Weekend", and the system of compulsary evacuation will be fully looked into.
5pm Tuesday 10.02.09
Thank God there has been no addition to the death toll , but we are still expecting the worst, as there are lot have houses that are still inaccessible.
The Federal Government have announced that there is no cap on the money to be made available.
Our Chief Commissioner of Police Christine Nixon who is retiring in April wil take retirement early and has been appointed to lead a Building Recovery Unit.
Our Premier has created a Police Task Force (Phoenix) of up to 100 members to carry out investigation to catch the arsonists responsible for these horrific fires.
There has been a large number of firefighters brought in from South Australia.
I have just heard a report that up till now 350 thousand hectares have been ravaged by fire. In my calculations thats about 15% of our state. One fire alone has a front of 150km.
11pm Tuesday 10.02.09
I'm sorry to report that the death toll has now risen to 181.
So far 900 homes have been destroyed.
7000 survivors are registered with the Red Cross.
11am Wednesday 11.02.09
I think that the authorities are not telling us the whole story as far as casualties are concerned. Some estimates are as high as 300.
The houses lost have now reached the staggering figure of 1008.
One township of 500 population has reportedly lost 100 of their residents, I just can't comprehend the magnitude of this catastrophe.
Overnight is has been reported that 2 acts of arson where performed by 2? men? near Stanley already suffering from the fires.
It is feared that with the winds that are freshening to 25-30 kph there is a possibilities of a convergance of separate fires.
It is nice to share
8pm Wednesday 11/02.2009
I'll give you some cheering news tonight.
Some images have been seen around the world of a little Koala nicknamed Sam sharing a bottle of water with CFA member David Tree.
David said that he could see from his truck that Sam was in trouble so he pulled over and she just 'plonked' herself down as if to say "I'm beat"
David offered her a drink and she drank 3 bottles of water.
David said "The most amazing part was when she grabbed my hand, I will never forget that"
Well the good news is that little Sam is actually a female Koala had burns to her paws and was in a lot of pan. Sam is now being cared for in the "Mountain Ash Wildlife Sanctuary" is on the road to recovery and is expected to be released back into the wild in about 5 months.
Apparently she is being well looked after by a male Koala in the Sanctuary.
And you thought it was a set up?
11 am Thursday 12.02.2009
Thank God there is no further reports of death.
Overnight and this morning with the help of the Australian Army and many private individuals a bare earth fire break was created at least 125 km long to protect assets and Melbournes main water supply.
It has just been reported on the radio that Victorian Police detectives are "interviewing " two people in regards to the fires!
2 pm Thursday 12.02.2009
There has been a respite in the intensity of the fires and Firefighters are using the time to create firebreaks in time for expected heat and wind increases in the next few days.
The Australian cricket team made a very welcome visit to the bushfire victims yesterday and they lifted spirits as they mingled with the kids.
10 am Friday 13.02.2009
Today will not be a good day, the beautiful little township of Healsville has been under threat of fire all night and the fire is now only 1 km away from the township. Healesville is the birth place of my beautiful wife.
There is still 14 wildfires burning out of control.
Winds are freshening from the east.
Australian Defence Forces and all available forces are now being thrown at this fire.
There are now over 1800 homes confirmed destroyed.
The day to day running of the Victorian Government has come to a standstill due to the enormity of this devastation.
Fire fighting experts are being brought in from New Zealand, Canada and America to advise on the fires.
4pm Friday 13.02.2009
The winds have changed to the East and are driving the smoke over the city of Melbourne . The fires are now being driven in a westerly direction.
The fire threatening Healseville has been averted from the town by a slight wind change and a lot of hard work.
There are still 15 fires out of control.
A suspect has been taken into custody and is being interviewed by Police, he is expected to be charged sometime today.
Two other deliberately lite fires were started late yesterday and overnight in the suburbs of Melbourne. The fires were extinguished with no major losses.
9pm Friday 13.02.2009
A man I believe to be in his thirties appeared in court this afternoon and charged in relation to the Churchill-Jeeralang bushfire in eastern Victoria.
Twenty-one people are confirmed to have died in that bushfire on Saturday.
The court has heard that the man may need to be protected from other prisoners. Assistant Police Commissioner Dannye Maloney says the man has been moved to Melbourne due to security concerns.
"People are pointing fingers, people are jumping to conclusions, rumours and innuendos are ebbing... we do not need that," he said.
"Let Victoria Police do its role, we identified this person, we are prosecuting this person on behalf of the community."
The man, who can not be named, has been charged with "one count of arson causing death", "one count of deliberately lighting a bushfire", and "one count of possessing child pornography".The man did not attend the brief hearing at the Latrobe Valley Magistrates Court this afternoon.
Magistrate Clive Allsop ordered that he undergo a psychiatric assessment.
There was no application for bail, and the man will appear in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Monday.
As I post this last update for the night the wind is blowing a gale outside and I am not looking forward to the news in the morning.
A much needed break
10am Saturday 14.02.2009
Today has begun as a day of relative calm, just another typical summer day in Melbourne.
And then I tuned into the radio and realised that it was not a bad dream. The last week had been reality. Oh how I wish it had just been a nightmare in my own head!
The good news if you can call it good is that mother nature is being kind to Victoria today and it will be a day of containment.
The current state of the fires are that there are still 12 fires burning out of control and work is progressing to contain these fires with a massive front of an estimated 350km. There are 15 fires burning which have been contained and work is proceeding to bring them under control. There are a further 84 fires which are classed as under control.
Just a short note that there is another breed of scum which has crawled out from under the rocks where they live. That is the "looter" I just hope that this scum is not uniquely Australian. But be warned if there are any "looters" reading this or you know one, here is a message for you.
" You are being watched, you will be caught , there are angry people just waiting to take their anger out on something. If there is anything left of you, you will be handed over to the police for them to deal with you"
The survivors of Marysville will be shown what is left (very little) of their once very picturesque township. They will not be allowed off the buses as the whole township is a crime scene as it is believed the fire was deliberately lit.
10pm Sunday 15.02.2009
The day had been going well until about 5pm and a Fire has broken out in the Dandenong Ranges near Belgrave,being fanned by a brisk South Easterly.
At the moment there are 8 Fires still "going" , 17 "contained" and 90 "controlled"
It was revealed today that the Fire which killed a number of people in the horrific fires last week could have been started by a broken power line, and a Class action has already been commenced against the Power Company and the Victorian State Government.
10pm Monday 16.02.2009
Another eight people are confirmed to have died in the fires, taking the known toll to 189.
Firefighters are still trying to contain fires around Melbourne's water catchments, but at this stage no communities are being threatened.
Largest fire is still not contained and has burnt out nearly 150,000 Hectares.
The 2nd largest fire is now classified as contained.
There are still 6 fires regarded as "going" (uncontained)
The victims of Victoria's bushfires will be remembered at a memorial service in Melbourne next Sunday on what has been declared a "National Day of Mourning". Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says February 7 will be etched in the country's memory as a day of disaster, death and mourning.
People will also get the chance to recognise the work of firefighters.
10pm Tuesday 17.02.2009
Police today announced that the number of people confirmed dead in Victoria's bushfires has climbed to 200.
Firefighters seem to be finally winning the battle , but there is still no rain in the immediate outlook.
State of fires tonight:-
It is ironic that in the state of Queensland an estimated 62% of the state is flooded due to rainfall and our next state NSW last night received the amount of Rainfall the Melbourne averages in 1 Year!
Just when I thought the news was getting better , it has been announced on the news that a Firefighter has been killed tonight while fighting the fires.
At the moment no further details are available.
10pm Thursday 19.02.2009
The official Bushfire death toll has now reached 208. Thankfully Police are hopeful that the toll will not increase.
The state of the fires tonight is:
It has just been announced that the fire has broken containment lines:-
An Urgent Threat Message has been broadcast as at 6.45 pm Thursday 19 February 2009.
The fire in the Mount Riddell sector east of Healesville has spotted over containment lines and is actively burning south of Narbethong in the Dom Dom area. The communities of the Narbethong area may be directly impacted upon by this fire, and have been told to activate their fire plan.
The Government has announced that they will provide funding for businesses in the fire zones who provided supplies to the victims.
Update Monday 10pm 2nd March 2009
With the fire situation not improving and is still in the situation:-
- GOING 4
- CONTAINED 7
- CONTROLLED 94
- The fires that are burning have now a perimiter of over 1000 kilometres. and have burnt out over 400000hectares.
With the weather forecast and modelling showing worse conditions than what has now become Black Saturday, the position for Tuesday and Wednesday could develop into a nightmare.
This is what we can expect tomorrow:-
'WIND up to 150km/h threatens to turn Victoria into an inferno just weeks after the state's worst bushfire disaster.
Gale-force wind is forecast to howl from tonight with the mercury tipped to hit the high-30s tomorrow.
It is feared that firebombing aircraft will be grounded due to the strong winds,and the 5000 ground crew will not be able to cope with the fires spotting up to 10-12 km.
"It's going to be a terrible, terrible day," Premier John Brumby said.'
In unprecedented moves the government:-
- Sent SMS Messages to all Mobile phones (see photo)
- Closed over 200 schools.
- Warned residents to activate fire plans and evacuate tonight if in the fire path.
- Fire Index which peeks at 100 (where 50 is regarded as extreme) has now gone through the roof, and is now showing as 200-300.
If the Authorities plan is to put a scare into everyone the plan is working very well. It is scaring the crap out of me!
Hopefully I will be able to tell you Tuesday night that nothing bad has happened!
Would You Stay And Fight
My question is:- Would you stay to protect your house in a Wildfire?
- Home | Australian Red Cross - The Power Of Humanity
Information about the Red Cross and the work they are doing, also covers other agencies.
- Multimedia - Herald Sun - Victoria\'s Worst Bushfires on Record
Interactive map of fires from the Herald Sun Newspaper
- 128 km Melbourne Doppler wind
To get an idea of the wind direction check out the Weather Bureau radar loops.
- Bushfires - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
Warning:- I'm sorry but you may find these photos upsetting. Photo gallery of the wildfires in Victoria.