Today is a terrible day. There are over fifty uncontrolled fires burning around the country (and many, many more which are 'controlled' - 'controlled' to me means not burning...), the worst of which are in our neighbour, Victoria.
They are using words like 'fireball', 'firestorm', 'raging inferno', 'killer radiant heat'.
The death toll is currently 108. They are still counting.
The news is full of husbands looking for families, mothers looking for daughters, people looking for neighbours. And so many people crying. The newsreaders are crying. The Prime Minister is crying.
I am so sad for these people - we had a fire over the road last week, we live on the outskirts of a small town. I experienced a brief whiff of smoke and I could see that if the fire jumped the road, it would burn up our long driveway. I was scared, hubby was at work in the city. I got the kids into the car and left our property - with nothing - and came back to find that they had stopped the fire from crossing the road.
The kids and I left, but many don't. They stay and try to fight it, to save their homes, their animals, their livelihoods. Sometimes, they never meant to stay, it just came too quickly. Or it catches them in their cars as they are trying to leave. When you are dealing with hell's inferno, fueled by high winds and temperatures in the 40's, you may not have a hope in hell.
Our hearts go out to everyone affected - we have fires in Victoria and New South Wales, and floods in Queensland (3 dead). A nation is weeping. Pray for them.
I've stopped watching the news because the kids freak when I cry. I'm listening to the radio news instead.
Want to know how it is? Here's an account from "The Australian".
They are talking about the possibility that one or more of the fires was deliberately lit. Speaking of hell....
Edit, 9pm: The count is now 126, and climbing. They say it might pop 200. God, I hope not.
Keri Arthur, on her blog, had this. If you have any spare cash around, please consider supporting the 750 families who are now homeless, or worse.