Obviously my blog has been devoted to the poor Koalas in Adelaide over the last week. Yesterday I mentioned some photos that I was unable to post ... well I have managed to get them on here. Again I don't know who the photographers. Before I show you the Koalas enjoying a cooling off I want to show you some images that were sent around our work today. These photos came from one of our members in Melbourne who has lost his house. He wrote a first had account as well. I will copy some of his email (in italics) to explain the photos below. He and his family are all safe. They got out 45 minutes before their house was destroyed. Surprisingly though one of the Bantam Hens was still running around the yard when they returned today as well as the fire pump down by the dam.
At first the fire was heading away from them. Even when they left they were quietly confident that the fire would bypass them after the change in direction. It took the fire 4 minutes to cover 15kms!
They left a 4WD at the property as it wasn't running properly, and it was completely burnt out. The alloy wheels have melted and there are rivulets of allow on the ground. All of the tyres were not only burnt, but had vaporised leaving nothing but the steel belting on the ground. My trailer, which was parked close to the 4X4 is almost untouched. I'll need to replace one tyre and one set of lights, but even the paint didn't blister.
Our water tank didn't just melt, it imploded on the spot. The 2 metre high tank is now under 2 centimetres high but it's the pretty much the same diameter as it was when it was complete. The fire hit so hard and so fast that it simply boiled 2500 litres of water to nothing in seconds and the tank didn't simply burn on one side as you might expect, it fell in on itself in an instant.
We had a timber deck around two sides of the house. You can still see where the nails were because the decking boards were vaporised in seconds and the nails all fell to the ground in perfect lines. There's barely even any ash around them at all.
I could tell you stories of luck and misery. Of people that barely survived and of some that didn't. Of almost miraculous events where the fire went around houses and where fires went right through homes but left paddocks no more than 1 metre away untouched. Of one home whose timber retaining wall, less than 2 metres form the house, was destroyed entirely, but the house was untouched. There are areas here that look like Armageddon has past through, and others where Lyrebirds are walking amidst the burnt out trees, unharmed thankfully. We've lost some friends and neighbours and our world will never be the same.
His email goes on to thank the many organisations that have been helping. So far over 1800 homes have been destroyed. The Army has pitched tents for the survivors but can only take in so many. Many others have to rely on the generosity of families and strangers.
If you wish to donate money to help rebuild people's lives please click here.
Now the Koala photos