This year, we have seen what are possibly the worst Bushfires Australia has seen so far.
On February 7th 2009, bushfires raged out of control in Victoria, located in the south east corner of Australia. Reports so far indicate there have been approximately 200 deaths and over 500 people with fire-related injuries.
Over 1,800 homes have been destroyed and it is thought that many thousands more have been damaged. Worse, entire townships have been completely ‘wiped out’ — no houses left standing. These townships include Kinglake, Marysville, Narbethong, Strathewen and Flowerdale.
At the moment, it appears that over 7500 people are left homeless.
I get chills as I write this. The effects are mindblowing and it is difficult to even start to imagine the level of damage being reported.
What is possibly even more terrifying is that at least some of these fires appear to be deliberately lit! I just can’t understand the mindset that would do such an awful thing!
However, the effects are more far reaching than even those directly affected by the fires. Thought must be given to those people and businesses that are still operational. One of my colleagues, Kathie Thomas writes on her blog VADirectory:
But it wasn’t till today that I’d given thought to those indirectly affected and this is also something that needs to be highlighted. The businesses and communities that will suffer loss – extreme loss, if nothing is done – due to the drop in tourism because people are either scared or incorrectly assumed other towns have been wiped out. One of those is Beechworth and because a member of my VA team lives and works there, it is something I want to highlight here.
So, to echo Kathies’ sentiments… please provide support to those areas in Victoria that will suffer from any downturn in tourism etc.
Having experienced the Canberra Bushfires 2003 first hand – thankfully we were a number of suburbs away from the fire front, my heart goes out to those that are affected now – to those that have lost family and loved ones and to those who are affected. The experience, for me, was lifechanging – I certainly decided to enjoy life and my loved ones more as a result.
I’ve shared Stuarts and my experience of the Canberra Bushfires 2003 and will donate 100% of earnings from that page to the Victorian Redcross appeal.