Monday, February 09, 2009

Victorian Bushfires

The country is currently rallying in lots of ways as we face what is now the worst bushfire season on record. There are over 130 people who have  lost their lives and Adelaide knows how that feels as we had our own Ash Wednesday in the 80s when 75 people lost their lives. So we are trying to double the impact and come to terms with it. Devastating. Just devastating and the thought that some of these fires may have been deliberately lit is sticking in our throats. What do you do with people who deliberately light fires and cause this amount of pain, suffering, destruction? We run out of words and our only thought is that you cannot describe it. You feel it and you do not want to know people would do this on purpose.So we do not want them in our society. We can find no excuses. We think of the firefighters and the emergency personnel. We listen to the sad tales of serendipidy and of good decision making. We listen as people tell us their truths and how they worried all day and how they escaped. It gives us heart. We need to hear those accounts because they are keeping us strong even though they might bring a tear to our eye. They are helping to create the courage we shall need to haul together as a nation to repair the damage. What that will be is still not clear because fires are still burning, fire fighters are still exhausting themselves to save people and land and it will take a while to discover if we have accounted for everyone. What is clear is that we have support and we need it. Victoria has already had promises of help from other states and actually has already started to receive that help. Even Queensland which is badly flooded is going to help Victoria and that is such an anomaly. There we have one state which is seriously flooded trying to help one which is burning. If only we could easily get the water out of one into the other. Australia is massive. 14 and a half Frances can fit into Australia. Two Germanies easily fit into South Australia, so mobilising things  and dealing with bush fires is a massive business. So no, we cannot bear to think these fires were deliberately lit. We were heart warmed as we heard we had support from Britain and NZ. We were touched to know Times Online had given us such good coverage and that France 2 had given the fires some serious coverage. It somehow helps us manage the awfulness of the situation to know we are not alone trying to manage this. Heaven knows how the Victorians feel. That is a big loss of life and such enormous damage.130+ people, 750 homes plus all those beautiful forests. Australia is massive so the extent of this disaster is actually too big to contemplate at the moment. We just have to keep ploughing through it and we just have to keep finding  ways of helping. In time those channels will be clear and we shall be better able to manage when we can really provide help. We are doers. We were all thinking of the Victorians this morning. We all got to work and those were our first words. We all got up and they were on our minds.

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