Monday, February 09, 2009
(images nicked from The Australian and SMH)
As the headlines of the trashy newspapers proclaimed, over the weekend our state was the hottest place on the planet. Further to our south they have been putting up with the heat longer. Victoria, in the south eastern corner of the continent has been blasted by the same desert winds that torched the Australian Open for the last few weeks. The bush down there is dry, as dry as it has ever been. Predictably people have taken it upon themselves to light fires.
The result: The hospitals are overflowing with burns victims. Over 100 people have died, Whole families perished in their vehicles. Everyday homeowners incinerated in their back yards, engulfed by the fireball as they desperately tried to save their homes with garden hoses. In the bath and shower under wet blankets huddled with their children and their neighbors children whilst their homes burnt down around them or simply dead where they fell lying in the middle of the street.
I want the people who start these fires to live with the vision of a family desperately driving down a bush road having left their home to burn, perhaps clutching a few photos or favorite toy. Visibility getting worse and leaves and fire raining down from above, the road turns and suddenly the fire is all about. There is no where to go. The incredible heat not even giving them time to time to try and lie low in their car like we are taught at school. How do you save your kids from that?
As of this morning over 100 people have died.
Many hundreds of homes have been lost.
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