About the fires here in Australia

I know this isn’t Saab related, but some of you have mentioned the fires here in Southern Australia in comments. Thanks for your concern, but Tasmania (where I live) isn’t affected by them at all.
I can share a few stories, however, as I’m originally from Victoria where the fires are located, and have been working the phones a little to check up on family and friends. This is an incredibly tragic story and I feel like a useless tool not being there, if only to help out people I know that are affected.
Possibly the most devastating of the fires is the one that hit a town called Kinglake, around 80km north of Melbourne. Most of the township itself has been destroyed and many of the homes in outlying areas are also gone. The deathtoll in Kinglake alone will probably be over 100 and most of them will be people who stayed to defend their homes from what seems now to have been a fire that was indefensible.
I have a cousin living in Kinglake and thankfully, her home was one of the few that was spared. They had around 15 people at their home when the fire hit but for some reason – whether it be a wind change, fire breaks, whatever – they were OK.
There’s one story today in the newspaper about a guy who put his two daughters in the car, went back into his home to retrieve some stuff, and when he came out again the car was burning with his children in it.
My cousin went for a walk last night with her family but had to turn back pretty quickly as the scene was too horrific. There were burned out cars and houses everywhere and some of the cars quite obviously had bodies in them.
kinglake.jpg The fact that their house was spared is of little comfort, really. If they are going to continue to live there, it’ll be like driving through a warzone (see image), complete with the memories of neighbors who may not have survived.
My nephew is a volunteer firefighter and he reported similar scenes when he went to relieve the full-timers last night. Burned out cars everywhere. Dead animals everywhere. Deceased people in places.
I also spoke to another mate of mine who’s a volunteer emergency worker in Gippsland, in country Victoria. He’s been helping either with emergency contruction or firefighting for four days straight now. He had a fire up to the back boundary of his property on Saturday, but thankfully the wind changed and it moved on. He had bulldozers in shortly thereafter building firebreaks.
If you know people in Victoria, give them a call and see how they’re going. These are the worst fires in Victoria’s history, surpassing the Black Friday fires in the 1930s and Ash Wednesday back in 1983.
I hope they get the bastards that lit them. The Prime Minister’s already said they’ll be charged with multiple murders.