The toll in Victorian bushfires today have broken all records with a total so far of 76 people dead and more than 700 homes burnt. For those who are not local, the ABC website has a full report and photographs. It is sickening to think that some of these fires are thought to have been deliberately lit and one cannot comprehend the extent of the losses, with some towns being totally burnt out, many people in hospital with critical burn injuries and more deaths expected as access to fire ravaged areas becomes possible. My heart goes out to all those who have been affected, I cannot imagine anything worse.
Thank you to those of you who have expressed concern for my welfare, let me say that so far there are no fires happening close to where I live in Central Victoria – but this could change at any time. I am close to a very large area of State Forest and would be at risk if something happened there. Where I once thought I would stay and defend my home, I think now that I would leave it all and evacuate myself and my dogs to somewhere more safe – I had a discussion over dinner with a friend about what one takes when you choose to go, and decided that tomorrow I shall pack a suitcase with things I consider to be irreplaceable – some family photographs and a few other bits and pieces with sentimental rather than monetary value. I recall having to evacuate in haste from a friend’s home in Warranwood in the 1960’s when there was a bushfire, and realising after a safe return that in taking essentials like clothing meant everything with real meaning to the family had been left behind, and would have been lost if the house had burnt down instead of their garage and shedding.