Long hot summers, school holidays, camping and travelling are all a part of our wonerful summers here in Australia. Unfortunately so are bushfires. We are currently going through one of the worst fire season on records. Many areas have been given Catastrophic threat level which is the highest rating possible.
The images shown all over the news and the Internet from Tasmania are heartbreaking but thankfully there are no fatalities. However thankful we are for this great outcome to such extreme devastation, it doesn't alter the fact that there are several thousand people who have lost homes, farms and livelihoods. Many have had to go through some horrific traumas and flee for their lives. Some had taken refuge along the eastern coast of Tasmania with fires raging right down to the waterline in some places. Being summer here, Tasmania is heavily populated with holiday tourists which will be adding to the bedlam and confusion of numbers in the area.
Tasmanian BushfiresTasmania, usually a cool lush green paradise south of mainland Australia has had the hottest days ever on record, with temperatures up to 41.8C (107.2F). It was Hobart's hottest day ever recorded.
|Bushfire photo: The Guardian|
|Near Yass - Photo: NSW Rural Fire Services|
|Bush Fireys in action - Photo: NSW Rural Fire Services|
Bushfires rage in other parts of Australia too.Now while the country's major news has been on Tasmania, we are ever mindful that there are raging bushfires in many other states of Australia, with other areas on high alert.
As of today firefighters in Australia are still working round-the-clock to bring a series of blazes under control ahead of a forecast temperature spike that is expected this weekend.
The Hume Highway, which is the main highway between Sydney and Melbourne had parts of the highway closed at various times due to fire and/or smoke.
Victoria has been hit badly especially around Ballarat and Melbourne outskirts, by some fires that are believed to have been deliberately lit.
In New South Wales, at least 15 bush fires remain out of control.
In Queensland, a bushfire continues to burn on Bribie Island north of Brisbane and several smaller fires are ongoing around the Sunshine Coast and in other parts of the state.
In the Northern Territory, bushfires have reached the Ross River Resort, 85km east of Alice Springs and Kings Canyon (one of my favourite tourist places) has had about 60% of the park burn out - although the actual canyon including the Garden of Eden, Lost City etc is relatively unscathed. (As reported direct from friends, Amanda and Gary of Travel Outback Australia who are there on the scene.)
Western Australia has been lucky to so far avoid the disastrous bushfires. may they have a bushfire free year!
|Fire in Kings Canyon - Photo: Travel Outback Australia|
|Mala - Photo: Flickr|
Rural Bush Fire FightersHaving a son who is a firefighter makes it all the more meaningful. He is not a bush fireman, though he along with all firemen were on standby during the catastrophic fire danger periods even here in our own home town. I wish to take this opportunity to publicly thank all the courageous volunteer firefighters, their families, and staff who have given so much of their time and risking their own health, over the past few weeks, and who we know will continue to unselfishly protect us as best they can during the current catastrophic fire weather conditions in so many areas of Australia.
There are no words we can adequately say Thank you!
Fireman's Prayer...When I am called to duty,
God whenever flames may rage,
Give me the strength to save some life