I thought I'd add a little about what we're experiencing. With a couple of photos. The photos are nowhere near as graphic as those to be seen elsewhere, but I don't usually have time to take many. The fires themselves are still going, though hopefully the major destruction and taking of lives has finished. The weather here is warming up again, and there are fears that some of the fires could break out - we'll just have to do our best to stop this happening.
On another thread somewhere, a person from California had to post how they have this sort of thing every year, blah blah blah. As if it's a contest. You know "mine is bigger than yours', that sort of crap. I managed to stop myself from answering him with the scorn he deserved, but only just. This is not a 'contest'. We are not saying that our fires are bigger than anyone elses. We are saying that we are experiencing the worst natural disaster that Australia has ever known, that's all.
So now a couple of photos.
This was on my run the day things went pear-shaped. Saturday the 7th Feb 2009. We had just been pulled out from the right hand edge of that smoke - two urban pumpers could do nothing against that fire.
Night shift on day two. This was a long way behind the front, we were patrolling.
Same area as the last shot. Chum Creek is the name of the tiny town, houses were lost here. We were lining up to get water from the tanker (a milk tanker in normal life?). The vehicle being filled is what we call a 'Tanker' - a structural/wildfire firefighting vehicle.
Please use this thread to ask questions. Many of you will have seen news articles, read other things on the net, whatever. I've seen a lot of factual errors in non-Australian media articles. Perhaps I can help to correct those errors.