Fires Still Threaten

The photo was taken near sundown on Friday night from my back yard and as you can see the smoke hanging over Melbourne was still thick.

At around 4 pm this afternoon a fire was deliberately lit in Tecoma [where I lived until July last year] which is around 4km as the crow flies from where we are now.  The Country Fire Authority again reacted quickly and as far as I know they managed to confine it the the forest without loss of property or life.

The person who did this ought to face attempted murder charges despite the fact that no one died.  No person here in Melbourne could fail to be aware of the danger of that act given the events of the past week.

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Postscript
And now it’s the morning after and as I did last Saturday I count my blessings and thank the CFA again. Spot fires are a huge risk from any fire at the moment. The grass in my front yard breaks when I walk on it, so brittle and dry it is. And the bush it drier still. Tomorrow the winds are due to get up again and we face more anxious moments, particularly with a firebug walking aorund my hills.

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Fires Still Threaten

The photo was taken near sundown on Friday night from my back yard and as you can see the smoke hanging over Melbourne was still thick.

At around 4 pm this afternoon a fire was deliberately lit in Tecoma [where I lived until July last year] which is around 4km as the crow flies from where we are now.  The Country Fire Authority again reacted quickly and as far as I know they managed to confine it the the forest without loss of property or life.

The person who did this ought to face attempted murder charges despite the fact that no one died.  No person here in Melbourne could fail to be aware of the danger of that act given the events of the past week.

******************************
Postscript
And now it’s the morning after and as I did last Saturday I count my blessings and thank the CFA again. Spot fires are a huge risk from any fire at the moment. The grass in my front yard breaks when I walk on it, so brittle and dry it is. And the bush it drier still. Tomorrow the winds are due to get up again and we face more anxious moments, particularly with a firebug walking aorund my hills.

Fires Still Threaten

The photo was taken near sundown on Friday night from my back yard and as you can see the smoke hanging over Melbourne was still thick.

At around 4 pm this afternoon a fire was deliberately lit in Tecoma [where I lived until July last year] which is around 4km as the crow flies from where we are now.  The Country Fire Authority again reacted quickly and as far as I know they managed to confine it the the forest without loss of property or life.

The person who did this ought to face attempted murder charges despite the fact that no one died.  No person here in Melbourne could fail to be aware of the danger of that act given the events of the past week.

******************************
Postscript
And now it’s the morning after and as I did last Saturday I count my blessings and thank the CFA again. Spot fires are a huge risk from any fire at the moment. The grass in my front yard breaks when I walk on it, so brittle and dry it is. And the bush it drier still. Tomorrow the winds are due to get up again and we face more anxious moments, particularly with a firebug walking aorund my hills.

David Tree and Sam the Koala

For those who haven’t seen this footage yet please have a look at one of the things that has provided a bright spot in the darkness. To David Tree and the other firefighters and animal rescuers – well done and thank you.

To TMZ who mocked the story – Sorry guys, this is neither humorous nor satirical just poor taste. David Tree is an ordinary bloke doing extraordinary things in a horrific situation. I’ve just heard him interviewed on the Neil Mitchell program on 3AW and if it gets posted onto their website I’ll provide a link for people to have a listen.

*****************************************
Update after the comment from Emma Halden.

You can purchase a photo of Sam here and all proceeds go to the Country Fire Authority with which our volunteer firefighters serve.

David Tree and Sam the Koala

For those who haven’t seen this footage yet please have a look at one of the things that has provided a bright spot in the darkness. To David Tree and the other firefighters and animal rescuers – well done and thank you.

To TMZ who mocked the story – Sorry guys, this is neither humorous nor satirical just poor taste. David Tree is an ordinary bloke doing extraordinary things in a horrific situation. I’ve just heard him interviewed on the Neil Mitchell program on 3AW and if it gets posted onto their website I’ll provide a link for people to have a listen.

*****************************************
Update after the comment from Emma Halden.

You can purchase a photo of Sam here and all proceeds go to the Country Fire Authority with which our volunteer firefighters serve.

David Tree and Sam the Koala

For those who haven’t seen this footage yet please have a look at one of the things that has provided a bright spot in the darkness. To David Tree and the other firefighters and animal rescuers – well done and thank you.

To TMZ who mocked the story – Sorry guys, this is neither humorous nor satirical just poor taste. David Tree is an ordinary bloke doing extraordinary things in a horrific situation. I’ve just heard him interviewed on the Neil Mitchell program on 3AW and if it gets posted onto their website I’ll provide a link for people to have a listen.

*****************************************
Update after the comment from Emma Halden.

You can purchase a photo of Sam here and all proceeds go to the Country Fire Authority with which our volunteer firefighters serve.

Less than 6 degrees of separation

The death toll now stands at 173 and reports now suggest that it may climb as high as 300. As the hours go on many people I know are telling tales of friends and or family who are missing. One of my nephews has a mate missing and that same mates brother confirmed dead. Other friends who we holiday with every year have not heard from friends for a few days.

So I think that most of the State may well be way less than 6 degrees of separation away from this personal tragedy.

It will be months whilst the police unravel the stories of each death. Firstly identifying the bodies will be an issue, then trying to piece together how people died will be a major exercise. And that is so necessary to provide some answers to the families left behind.

The generosity of people has been amazing. Everyone feels affected and everyone wants to try and contribute – clothes, groceries, money are all pouring in. For anyone who wants to donate you can do so on the Red Cross Website.

Wesfarmers have also announced that all profits from grocery sales in their Coles supermarkets this Friday will go to the appeal, so if you can hold off shopping until then, do so.

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And from the best of human nature and generosity of spirit we come across this media release from Catch the Fire Ministries where a so called Man of God claims that God visited the fires on Victoria because of new abortion laws.

This straight from that offensive media release –

CTFM leader, Pastor Danny Nalliah said he would spearhead an effort to provide every assistance to devastated communities, although he was not surprised by the bush fires due to a dream he had last October relating to consequences of the abortion laws passed in Victoria.

He said these bushfires have come as a result of the incendiary abortion laws which decimate life in the womb.

My God is one of compassion and not this sort of vengeance. I thought long and hard about whether I should promote this sort of tripe but it is offensive and does not belong in my country. How dare these people try and point score from this tragedy.

Less than 6 degrees of separation

The death toll now stands at 173 and reports now suggest that it may climb as high as 300. As the hours go on many people I know are telling tales of friends and or family who are missing. One of my nephews has a mate missing and that same mates brother confirmed dead. Other friends who we holiday with every year have not heard from friends for a few days.

So I think that most of the State may well be way less than 6 degrees of separation away from this personal tragedy.

It will be months whilst the police unravel the stories of each death. Firstly identifying the bodies will be an issue, then trying to piece together how people died will be a major exercise. And that is so necessary to provide some answers to the families left behind.

The generosity of people has been amazing. Everyone feels affected and everyone wants to try and contribute – clothes, groceries, money are all pouring in. For anyone who wants to donate you can do so on the Red Cross Website.

Wesfarmers have also announced that all profits from grocery sales in their Coles supermarkets this Friday will go to the appeal, so if you can hold off shopping until then, do so.

***************************************************
And from the best of human nature and generosity of spirit we come across this media release from Catch the Fire Ministries where a so called Man of God claims that God visited the fires on Victoria because of new abortion laws.

This straight from that offensive media release –

CTFM leader, Pastor Danny Nalliah said he would spearhead an effort to provide every assistance to devastated communities, although he was not surprised by the bush fires due to a dream he had last October relating to consequences of the abortion laws passed in Victoria.

He said these bushfires have come as a result of the incendiary abortion laws which decimate life in the womb.

My God is one of compassion and not this sort of vengeance. I thought long and hard about whether I should promote this sort of tripe but it is offensive and does not belong in my country. How dare these people try and point score from this tragedy.

Less than 6 degrees of separation

The death toll now stands at 173 and reports now suggest that it may climb as high as 300. As the hours go on many people I know are telling tales of friends and or family who are missing. One of my nephews has a mate missing and that same mates brother confirmed dead. Other friends who we holiday with every year have not heard from friends for a few days.

So I think that most of the State may well be way less than 6 degrees of separation away from this personal tragedy.

It will be months whilst the police unravel the stories of each death. Firstly identifying the bodies will be an issue, then trying to piece together how people died will be a major exercise. And that is so necessary to provide some answers to the families left behind.

The generosity of people has been amazing. Everyone feels affected and everyone wants to try and contribute – clothes, groceries, money are all pouring in. For anyone who wants to donate you can do so on the Red Cross Website.

Wesfarmers have also announced that all profits from grocery sales in their Coles supermarkets this Friday will go to the appeal, so if you can hold off shopping until then, do so.

***************************************************
And from the best of human nature and generosity of spirit we come across this media release from Catch the Fire Ministries where a so called Man of God claims that God visited the fires on Victoria because of new abortion laws.

This straight from that offensive media release –

CTFM leader, Pastor Danny Nalliah said he would spearhead an effort to provide every assistance to devastated communities, although he was not surprised by the bush fires due to a dream he had last October relating to consequences of the abortion laws passed in Victoria.

He said these bushfires have come as a result of the incendiary abortion laws which decimate life in the womb.

My God is one of compassion and not this sort of vengeance. I thought long and hard about whether I should promote this sort of tripe but it is offensive and does not belong in my country. How dare these people try and point score from this tragedy.

Sheltered Life

I lived a sheltered life as a policeman. I saw no major gruesome scenes, some, but generally I seemed to constantly draw the long straw. When a consulate was bombed in Melbourne I drew roadblock duty rather than having to scrape the terrorists remains off the walls with an egg lifter.

During Ash Wednesday, living in the area affected by the fires, I was given permission to go home on the night the fires were burning rather than join my colleagues working through the night. That seems a little cowardly now when I hear tales of CFA workers fighting fires at stranger’s places when their own homes are burning down. But at the time, it seemed a reasonable request.

I did spend the next week working in the fire affected areas, at various times manning road blocks, driving through the fire areas along roads where trees still burnt, looking for survivors. And like my colleagues who today are doing the same things, we worked long hours, 36 of them in one stretch, then 8 hours off and back on duty again. But I saw no bodies then and I will be forever grateful for that.

Given that the fires have been potentially deliberately lit each location where a body is found is a potential crime scene and must be treated as such. In 1983 the coroner had to visit every scene and I assume that it will be the same now. With so many dead that is a monumental task before the bodies can be released from the scene and taken to the morgue for identification.

What people may not realise is that once the bodies are found someone has to stay with them. In 1983 my colleagues in some cases spent more than a day watching over the dead until they could be removed to the morgue. Some of them never recovered from those scenes and many actually left the job within the next 12 – 24 months. Man power was spread so thinly that these young men and women were left alone without radio contact or vehicles for hours at a time.

Again I had it easy, I spent 12 hours on a country road in the middle of nowhere at one stage, manning a road block no one drove through, with no radio contact, not knowing where the fires were burning or whether they were heading towards us. Eventually a Sergeant came out and apologised saying they’d forgotten myself and a colleague were out there.

So I am feeling for the Emergency Services Workers who are working in the Disaster Victim Identification role at the moment. I know that many of them will never recover from this – that they will have sleepless nights and flashbacks, some of them forever. At least trauma counselling is better now. Even in 1983 whilst it was available, it wasn’t manly to request it. You kept the stiff upper lip and didn’t show what was considered by some at the time to be a sign of weakness.

But there are times when I am grateful for that sheltered life.

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The latest death toll is 131.

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