No-one is ever prepared fully for the impact of a natural disaster and I have to say that this is terrifying and frightening to all the people in Victoria at the moment. We smelt smoke on Saturday from the fires in Kilmore and wondered if it was closer than we suspected. The winds changed and the smoke vanished. We then turned on the television to start watching all the devastation around the country. Even at the baseball reunion yesterday in Essendon we had Elvis the water plane fly over 3 times towards the fires. I really did not realise how large those planes are and how loud they are. I know that those planes are a blessing and help out in a big way towards putting out the flames.
My cousin is a firefighter and I hope he is safe. He is most likely in the Horsham area fighting fires at the moment. I know he is a very brave man like all those who are trying to fight the fires are at the moment. I do hope that the fires are under control soon so that people can be found alive and safe. At the moment the death toll has risen to 130 people. They expect it to be over 200 in the next few days. We spoke to people yesterday who have relatives in Kinglake and were worried sick about them. Some others actually have family in the areas where other fires are and were worried too. My sister worked with some people who live in the Kinglake area and have lost their homes but are very lucky to be alive. I have been watching tv all morning and I just start crying at all the devastation and stories of survival which rips out my heart. It makes me angry and sick that possibly those fires were lit by an arsonist.
Once the centres start taking clothing donations and toys and books and bags I will be giving clothes and shoes that no longer fit the kids but are like brand new and I am going to try and make some toys too to give. Paul and I are struggling financially at the moment so we cant really help out that way so I think this is best. It makes me feel as though I am helping although I would like to do more. I pray that people find their loved ones soon and can start to rebuild their lives. I know that it took quite a while for the Ash Wednesday fires to get back to normal. I was 14 then and the fires did reach Melton. My sister and I had been in Mildura holidaying whilst mum and dad were down here worried sick. It didnt reach our house but it did get near the school. I was so worried that something would happen to them being so far away. When we did come back we saw houses that had been burnt down and trees and all the blackened ground and felt awful so I cannot imagine how those people feel returning to their homes with nothing left but rubble. My heart really does go out to them. Any donations can be made at any of the banks or Red Cross if you would like to contribute.