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Fires in Victoria (10 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 8-February-2009  21:12:43 (GMT +10) - by Agg

This update on the fire situation is from Mindy:

As most of you would have seen from various media broadcasts, Victoria is currently reeling from the worst bushfire season that Australia has seen in decades. Over the course of the past 36 hours at least 66 people have died and at least 300 people have been admitted to hospitals around Melbourne, 75 of whom are suffering from severe burns. The firestorm that has gripped the state has also completely destroyed the communities of Kingslake and Marysville, while other towns within those two areas and some Melbourne suburbs have come under serious threat as well. In total, over 500 houses have been lost within those two communities alone, with the Victorian Country Fire Authority and the Department of Sustainability and the Environment predicting that these figures will rise due to weather conditions in the coming days. Other Emergency Services have also predicted that the death toll from this tragedy will rise as Firefighters and other Emergency staff are able to gain access to areas previously inaccessable due to the fires.

These events have also touched members of the OCAU community, with forum regulars such as AERO, daztay and Power47 amongst others having family members who have either lost property, had their homes under threat or have been lucky to escape with their lives during this time. I think that I can say with certainty that our thoughts and prayers are with these guys and anyone else who is involved with these fires for the days ahead, including the various Emergency Services personnel who have given made a heroic effort in order to bring this situation under control and save lives.

As a result of numerous OCAU members asking how they can help, I have compiled a list of various charities, businesses and relief organisations which have established Appeals in order to help the various survivors of this tragedy. Due to the severity of the bushfires, these funds will benefit the communities affected immensely, so please give generously over the days and weeks ahead.

Victorian Bushfire 2009 Appeal links:In conjunction with this, the Red Cross Blood Bank will also require an increased level of blood donations over the course of the days, weeks and months ahead. These blood donations will go towards not only the burns victims of the recent fires, but the other people who require blood transfusions on a regular basis in order to survive. Due to the various components that can be extracted, one blood donation can help to save at least six lives, so please visit your local Blood Banks to see how you can help out.

I have also compiled a list of radio webstreams, information links and hotlines for people to utilise. Due to the high level of traffic hitting these facilities, please only utilise the CFA, DSE and Bushfire Information Hotline resources if you have friends, family or loved ones presently residing within the areas presently under threat from these fires.You can also keep up to date via this thread in our Current Events forum.

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All original content copyright James Rolfe. All rights reserved. No reproduction allowed without written permission.