I can't tell you how furious I am about the Victorian bushfires, suspectedly deliberately lit and have so far cost over 64 confirmed dead over 640 homes lost. To put it into perspective, we have lost 4 soldiers in both the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. The victims? Children in cars, families trying to make a run for it, people caught unawares or sleeping with no idea the menace was so close. Hundreds of properties as people were taken by surprise during the night and tried so hard to escape . . .too late. . . whole families burned in their vehicles or in their sleep . .
Fires jumping the road - yes I've seen it, the flames literally hop across the median strip and ignite on the other side of the road leaving no escape for the hapless motorist. The army has now been called in to assist the bushfire brigade who are battling these blazes in over 40 degree heat, most of them volunteers. I can't tell you how much I admire these people for doing what they do. My heart sank this morning when I heard the news.
These are not Malibu Mansions, they were suburban dwellings in a
lovely hamlet in the LaTrobe Valley
You get an idea of the velocity of bushfires by looking at the trees. They're leaf intact. It travels so fast that it singes the leaves and trunks but latches on to structures. The little hamlet of Kinglake apparently looks like a nuclear zone and there are countless others suffering from abject vandalism thanks to these firebugs . . .no they're terrorists . . .mass murderers . . .and should be forced to face the consequences of their actions.
How do you fight that with a hose?
Then here, in the comfort of the Kellyville suburbs, we are inconvenienced by a little smoke from fires on Peats Ridge and in the Kuringai National Park. We spent the day sploshing around in our pool, drinking beer and talking about live bands and how nice a little rain would be . . .the horses enjoyed a comfortable hose down, Lily was in her element and is now lying exhausted on the front door step. What a priviledged life we lead.
I was going to post photos of today's languishing and lolling but it doesn't seem respectful given the suffering of so many down south. I really, really hope they catch these assholes, public lynching is too good for them.
My prayers are not enough. My love and condolences are mere tokens. How do you console a grandparent who's entire family tried in vain to escape from someone's carelessness . . .how do you console a father who watched his children burn in the car while he quickly nipped back into the house to retrieve the family pet . . .
As I write, the air is filling with acrid smoke from a fire somewhere close by. We are not at risk but it's a timely reminder that we live on an explosive continent . . a thrown cigarette butt, burning a stolen car, mucking around in the bush with matches really is a matter of life and death.
I can't type anymore. My eyes are filling with tears. I'm just so grateful that my angels are home, hot and happy. This song came to mind . . .teardrops on the fire indeed.
Photos courtesy of the Sun Herald