Tuesday, February 10, 2009

To all my Australian friends

I pray that all of you are safe, and ask everyone to keep you in their thoughts and prayer.

For those of you who are not aware of the situation in Victoria, the bushfires have claimed so many lives and destroyed entire towns and villages. Coral has the article that goes with this picture on her blog.

Kristeen wrote the other day:

Southern Australia has been in severe drought for the last 10 years or so. We are on the harshest water restrictions ever.The temps over the last two weeks have been severe here, up to 50oC or 120o F. What little greenery that was left was totally dryed out. Our farm is usually green but there is nothing left here but baked earth and we are not in the firepath.The bushland here is full of native Eucalypts, which are full of oils. Once the trees and bush dry out the oils literally explode.The bush is incredibly thick, most of these areas are inaccesable. These small communties are mostly farming and milling areas. Kinglake, Whittlesea, Kilmore are mostly small hobby farms less than an hour from the CBD. Marysville, Buxton, are tourist towns in magnicifent dense bush. Alexandra, Yea are farmlands. Bendigo is a large country town,off hand with a population of 500,000 +. Druin and Gippsland are well populated farm areas. Coldstream, Yarra Glen, Healsville are semi suburban areas. (approx 20 mins from me)The high dry winds blew the fires at alarming speeds. Combined with dry grass, dry Eucalypts and oil, and no water, inaccesable terrain, not enough manpower, loss of communciations, this was just a fireball. The heat was so intense it has totally sucked out the oxygen. Flames were up to 30 meters high. Houses have literally just exploded. The speed of this fire was terrifying.Friends in Toolangi were told the fires were at least 2 hours away and they were evacuating, but the firestorm raged through in less than 10 minutes. From when Edwina and Brendan 'saw' flames to the time they reached the farm, Ed estimated less than 4 minutes.So much of the bush was burning so fast there was nowhere to go.Brian Naylor was Melbournes best known news presenter for 30 years. He and his wife lived at Kinglake for almost 40 years."Both he and his wife have been found dead.

And then last evening wrote:

Ok, east Beenak road has been upgraded to urgent threat. It is the other side of the launch-gembrook road, (the far end of our road). We don’t think we are in any real danger,but the neighbours have been on the phone wanting to know if we plan to leave or stay. They are staying, we are putting our fire plan into action now, been out filling water containers, etc, got the cats all inside, will keep the dogs to normal routine til or if we have to do anything drastic. It is a slow moving fire, approx 20 ks away and a lot of open pasture between us and it. Russell is cleaning and filling the gutters as I type. Will keep watch again overnight, will let you know as early as I can tomorrow how things are going. Russell has cancelled his trip tomorrow to Sydney!!!! Just preparing! CFA is concerned that Healsville and Bunyip fires will merge. The wind has picked up but things still look and feel ok, still no smoke or ‘that gut’ feeling yet. Dont panic, we plan to fight this one out, its not a firestorm, like Saturday. Yes, we will keep safe. Plan is to get the animals into the bathroom, its the safest room in the house. Talk tomorrow.

Then another update ...
Ok, they have just downgraded us to Alert instead of Urgent threat! Phew!! Still we will be vigilent tonight...See you tomorrow ....Love Kristeen


Lisa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lisa said...

I'm glad they're going to be ok. (sorry about the deleted comment - I messed it up). ;)

Kim said...

Many prayers and hugs for our Coral, Lesley, and all our other Aussie friends. May they stay safe and out of harms way.

Threeundertwo said...

Such a scary scary thing. These pictures are really touching.

Praying for our friends in Australia, human and otherwise.

Cindy F. said...

Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone in Australia...drought, fires...we're watching here from the States and it's heartbreaking.
Stay safe and be careful!