Tonight’s sunset was lovely, yet not far from here (about 30 minutes away) there are those who have lost their lives, and many that have lost their homes. The colours in the sky were surely created, in part, by the clouds of smoke hanging over Melbourne.
Yesterday the mercury reached 46.3 degrees C (115.3 F) here in our suburb, and Melbourne recorded its highest temperature since records began 150 years ago. At least 84 people perished as major fires burned across the state in a day worse than Ash Wednesday. The death toll is expected to rise as more victims are found. Over 750 homes have been destroyed. Some fires still burn.
The Red Cross is calling for donations to help fund emergency relief for victims, meals for fire fighters and emergency personnel and many other relief work.
You can donate to The Bushfire Appeal Fund by calling 1800 811 700
Burns victims require blood over many months. The Australian Red Cross Blood Service is encouraging people to donate blood. People should call 13 14 95 during Monday to Friday to make an appointment.
10th Feb, Edited to Add:
The death toll has risen to 173, but is expected to rise as more burnt out homes are searched. There are fire fronts that are still active, the threat has not passed even though it is cooler. The Salvation Army has a donation site that has links for donations from outside of Australia.
This is very close to home, metaphorically and physically. Close friends have lost members of their extended family. Friends children have lost classmates.