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Bushfires Melbourne Victoria Feb 2009

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  • Bushfires Melbourne Victoria Feb 2009

    A major disaster is unfolding in South East Australia. Fires are being said to be the worst ever encountered in Victoria. Temperature today was the highest ever recorded in Victoria at 46c with strong winds. Hopefully the losses are no where near those of Ash Wednesday 1983 when dozens of people perished and thousands of houses were lost. More info is at the CFA website, Age or Herald sun newspaper sites.
    These views are my own and not of either my brigade or any other organisation.

  • #2

    Several towns have been destroyed including Labourtouche, Kinglake and Marysville. Residential areas Outside Bendigo and Horsham have lost many houses. Fatalities have occurred in almost all areas effected by fire. It is believed at least 126 people are deceased including family members of volunteer fire fighters at Kinglake. Another 50 people are in hospital with severe burns. Some not expected to survive.

    Further details are available on ABC (Australia) news, CFA, DSE etc.

    Some fires are still going.
    Last edited by wombat; 02-08-2009, 11:56 PM. Reason: update
    These views are my own and not of either my brigade or any other organisation.


    • #3
      Wombat....... How are things going? I just got a email from a friends of mine in victoria..... She said the death toll has risen and the loss of homes.... Also that a few of the fires were about to become one..... She also said they were thinking of asking for FF's from the states to come over & help as the CFA is exhausted....


      • #4

        Sorry but I have been is shock as per the rest of Victoria. Almost everyone here has friends either in the Kinglake/Flowerdale, Marysville or Bunyip areas and has been directly effected or knows people who have been. One of the guys at work comes from Narbethong where a large horse training complex was lost. No employees were killed however 30 homes and now 30 stable workers out of work.

        Periodically I work at Labourtouche North. Several farms would have suffered big losses as they are in heavy bush next to the Bunyip state park. This fire has burnt out as far as the Sea at Port Albert.

        Several fire services have supplied personnel including the US Canada and NZ. Police identification experts have been brought in from other countries including Indonesia. Most fire areas have been roped off as crime scenes with residents not permited to return until all bodies have been recovered. They need to get this all completed quickly before the foxes get in and disperse body parts. Lack of access has caused agro with locals anxious to return and salvage what they can.

        Fires continue to burn but most are contained. Further hot weather is not expected for another week. They need to get containment lines completed prior to this.

        They also need to create safe areas in Victoria where residents can evacuate to if required. Evacuate early but where and how far?
        We were lucky on Ash Wednesday because the fires effected coastal villages and people could evacuate to the sea when things went pear shaped. The most loss of life occurred where people did not have this option. This time round we were not so lucky.

        After Ash Wednesday 1983 some of the bodies showed cranial damage created by a sudden blast of 1000c+. Out in the open in this situation you will not last long. It will not be until they do the autopsies that this situation may be verified. Whether it is made public is another matter.

        Current losses are 201 confirmed dead but expected to rise to over 300 and 1900 houses lost.

        The retiring Chief Commissioner of Police Christine Nixon has been appointed to oversee the recovery. She already seems to be treating residents with the authority of a police officer rather than talking to them and finding out what their wishes are. Given that the police have roped off most of the fire scenes denying the opportunity for insurance assesment the locals already do not have a lot of confidence in the political appointment of nanna Nixon.

        For thoses travelling down under if the weather hots up again be very wary of the deadly South West wind change. Some crews last Saturday had no prior warning the change was occuring until after they noticed the wind change themselves.

        An LOD has been reported due to a falling tree on the fire ground. Prayers for our fallen brother and his family. The firefighter was from Banks in Canberra and part of the ACT support contingent operating an ACT CAFS unit. He leaves a wife and Three children.
        Last edited by wombat; 02-18-2009, 05:24 AM. Reason: LOD
        These views are my own and not of either my brigade or any other organisation.


        • #5
          Update 23rd Feb

          Bad weather day today. Not that hot, still no rain but strong winds. Previous fires containment lines have held. New fires near Melbourne at Lysterfield and in the west at Daylesford. Two CFA vols injured. A tanker lost to fire and another damaged in a motor vehicle accident. I hope all members are safe.

          If the ACT are still operating CAFS vehicles in Vic they should be moved to where they can do the most good. ie property protection.

          Friday the 27th 2009 is shaping up to be another horror day with the potential to be as bad as Black Saturday in Victoria. For those involved be very wary of wind changes. Afternoon South East coastal winds or a South West change can create havoc.

          Well Friday was not to bad. If we survive tomorrow Tuesday the 3rd then all will be OK. Predicted Temp high 100f with winds up to 60 mph, many fires still burning and no rain. so watch this space and if you are involved take care of yourself and your brothers and do not let your water run low.

          More info available at the CFA site.
          Last edited by wombat; 03-02-2009, 12:15 AM. Reason: update
          These views are my own and not of either my brigade or any other organisation.


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