A War Zone Without Bullets

I was in Victoria recently to visit my mother in East Gippsland. The journey brought back fond memories of the south east countryside of Australia.

Part of that area was ravaged by fire soon after I returned home.

And now the fires have returned to central Victoria, destroying anything in it's path. Towns like Kinglake, Marysville, on the outskirts of Melbourne, gone. Further north Yea is under threat by a huge fire-front. Healesville and towns further north on alert. That part of Victoria was once my backyard. Towns and bushland, now blackened

As an ex bushfire brigade member, friends are asking me "Why didn't they do such and such? Why did they do such and such"

The fact is, in the weather conditions at the time there is not much you can do. You do your best. As did the two young girls who decided to stay and protect their horses rather than flee. Their actions were brave, not foolish, as they gave their lives.

And Brian Naylor, one of Australia's most respected TV personalities lost his life along with his wife trying to save their family home.

The human loss is shocking, and the figures will be much higher than those published now as authorities scour burnt out homes and other buildings looking for further victims. I don't envy their task.

After Ash Wednesday I thought this would never happen again. I was wrong.

I'm also proud to be Australian.

The Australian spirit is in full force. The donations of food and clothing is testament to that, as is the monetary donations flooding in despite the present economic situation.

And of course those volunteer firefighters, the Salvation Army, wildlife and other organisations giving their all to those in need.

When the flames are extinguished those towns will not become ghost towns, they'll be rebuilt and the community spirit will be strengthened.

And there will be many unsung heroes.

 

WiseOldOwl WiseOldOwl
56-60, M
7 Responses Feb 10, 2009

You all have my deepest sympathy and my empathy. I have been educating myself about the climate change effects on Australia and drawing the analogies between what has been happening to you and what happened to a lot of people and other beings in the Dust Bowl/Depression of the U.S. in the last century. There is a lot to learn if people will open up to it. <br />
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You are all in my prayers.

The firefighters seem to have the upper hand at present. The crazy thing is Northern Queensland has been flooded, and I've just had 38mm of rain in an hour, about 150mm in three days. Victoria would have welcomed that.

I have been watching the fire too. You can count on my thoughts for this to end.

The weather conditions in Victoria have improved somewhat, giving the fire fighters an opportunity to bring some of the fires under control. It's not over yet though. Should the fires get into the rugged Victorian Alps with a southerly wind behind them I doubt there will be any stopping it before the Brindabella Ranges south of Canberra. Let's all hope that doesn't happen.

so am i crying for every one there.

Thank you for this story helping us to better understand the situation more fully than what we get on the news. My heart goes out to your country for this awful pestilence that is upon you. I salute the unsung heroes and all those who rush to the support of those in need.

Fires like that are powerful, fast moving, and formidable. The devastation in their wake is ghostly. It is amazing, the power of mother nature, both to take away in a seemingly single swipe and the regrowth that follows. The resolve in the heart of the Australians is quite amazing as well, and inspiring. I know that this fire is still in progress, so please know that my thoughts are with you and your countrymen, and I hope that it will soon be brought to a halt.