Australian fire update – please consider donating

Firefighters are still working to contain two large fires in Victoria in a bid to prevent those fires from joining together and presenting one huge front.
Temperatures have been much lower this week, giving the firefighters a realistic chance of achiving this, but they’re working against the clock. Temperatures and wind conditions next week are going to work against them.
The official death toll stands at 181 souls, but the real fear is that once forensic experts get a chance to get into some of the destroyed properties that have been too dangerous to go into, that total may rise beyond 300.
Last time I looked there were at least 700 1800 homes destroyed and that means there’s thousands and thousands of people who have lost everything.
The stories that have come out of this are just amazing. The stories of people giving up their lives to try and save their homes, their pets, their neighbors. The survival stories. They are tragic and inspiring.
I showed this aerial photo the other day:
Looks like a war zone, right?
One scientist guy quoted in the newspaper the other day estimated that the heat and energy released at the height of the fire over the weekend would have been the equivalent to a number of Hiroshima atomic bombs.
With the resultant loss of life, it seems a little small to draw a Saab angle on this, but there is one and it’s someone a few of the Aussie readers here will be familiar with.
Steve White is a Saab technician who’s been trying to sell a few old Saabs through various advertising media in the last 12 months. I’ve shown one of his old cars on the site before:
I didn’t know this, but apparently Steve lived at Kinglake. Site regular, AussieLars recently wrote to me about how he was meant to go up to Kinglake to visit Steve and check out his red bullnose Saab 95 late last week. He didn’t get up there.
Apparently Steve got out of the area in time and is safe and well, but Lars was unsure as to the extent of his losses, only that he lost “a lot” as a result of the fire. Steve had the red bullnose 95 (see below) on the property, as well as a black Saab 99 that he liked to throw around in the occasional historic rally.
2-stroke rear.jpg
Just goes to show – it’s a small world. Right in the midst of this tragedy is someone just like you.
Earlier this month I wrote about the Snowdodgers and their charity run to help kids in Latvia. I mentioned that the March “Support a Saab Blogger” would be donated to their efforts and that I’d kick things off with a $150 donation.
I have to extend a sincere apology to the Snowdodgers guys, because I’m going to have to divert my energies towards the effort here in Australia.
I spent a lot of time in Kinglake and Flowerdale back in the early 1990s and knew a few people in that community. I have a cousin who lives there. Her house was spared. I have a nephew who’s been relieving firefighters when he can and another mate who’s an emergency volunteer in Gippsland, where there’s been 21 people killed in another fire last weekend.
I feel useless here in Tassie, but I still feel very connected to the places and some of the people effected by this.
I’ve just made my donation to the Red Cross bushfire appeal and I hope you might consider making a donation as well. I normally ask you to support this site with a donation on a monthly basis. That won’t happen for a few months. Instead, I ask you to consider what you might be able to do to help the thousands of Aussies who have lost loved ones, homes, posessions and livelihoods.
You can donate to the Victorian Bushfire Appeal at the Australian Red Cross website.