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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Victoria fires

We are all very shocked about the the Victorian Fires on Saturday. Especially the incredible loss of life. These fires touch me deeply as my brother was living on Stromlo Mountain at the Observatory when the Canberra fires came through. He lost his car and parts of the University house he was renting was burnt but he was lucky to get out with his girlfriend. I think now in retrospect he was very very lucky, the houses next to his on both sides and across the road burnt down and the whole mountain pine plantation burnt down plus some telescopes and buildings at the university 100 meters away. I was living in Stromlo at that time but was in Sydney working.
I can not believe people think they can calm or fight the fires with low pressure gardening hoses and buckets. The fires are intense and fierce, I think the authorities need to tell people that now based on the ferocity of climate change and dry conditions and over population when fires hit one must learn to let go and leave your home in time.

As a paleontologist and zoologist I really feel for the animals and bush during this time. I remember the kangaroos I would see moving slowly outside our home in Stromlo days after the fire was out.

This photo was taken at the Victoria fires and I think must make us all think a little about what has happened and how we can avoid it next time. Back burning and awareness must surely have something to do with the answer!

Please, donate if you can, to the Red Cross appeal.
www.redcross.org.au or 1800 811 700
I know the red cross and salvation army helped us a lot during the Canberra fires and we even received hand made blankets and quilts from people in Australia.

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