It's true that Australia has been in drought for many many years.... and maybe enough wasn't done soon enough to make the situation different? Suburban Victoria is on Stage 3a water restrictions, and has been since 2007, but the further out from Melbourne you go though the higher the restrictions, rural Victoria is on Stage 4.
Some info on the water levels and storage levels:
www.melbournewater.com.au/con...storages.asp#2 (external - login to view)
And info on the restrictions, from 1 through to 4:
https://citywestwater.com.au/residen...eet_180407.pdf (external - login to view)
I lived in Victoria all my life, up until about a year ago when I moved here to Canada.... I was only a child when the 1983 fires happened, and barely remember them. I do know people though that lived through them, battled to save their houses and fought to have things changed so that it wouldn't happen again. I have family who work for the DSE: Department of Sustainability and Environment
, and who go out and fight those fires. I have an uncle, who for longer than my lifetime has spent his summer sitting alone in a fire tower in Mt.Buller watching the surrounding areas to spot fires.
The current situation has many causes, obviously the extreme heat that the area has been experiencing over the last few weeks, the drought that has gripped for so many years, the lack of clearing and controlled burning that has been happening in part due to the protests against it.... I'm sure there are many more reasons, but they are just a few that I can think of.
The impact of this years fires is going to last a lifetime, even though I'm not physically there, to watch your home state be ravaged so badly is heartbreaking. There are fires every year, every summer Australia deals with these situations, this year surpasses all of them though. I don't think there is many people who don't know of someone who has lost something from these fires, friends of friends, friends of family....
As Melbourne and it's suburban sprawl spreads at a rate that is alarming, I wonder if those people moving further out are properly educated in the reality of fire threats? I have lots of family who live in rural areas, some have been there a lifetime, others only a few years... and when they did move there they had to attend CFA Country Fire Authority
, meetings about being prepared and having a plan for if and when the threats are issued. I don't know if that sort of education and resource is available everywhere, but I do know that they should be.
The Australian Red Cross has been overwhelmed with donations, both monetary and physical, and of blood for the victims in hospital burn wards. The latest Red Cross figures and information, Australian Red Cross (external - login to view)
In the worst of times the true measure of people comes shining through, and I am proud to be a Victoria, an Australian and know that people band together to help those they don't know in these times. That every single person is a friend, and whatever can be done will be done.
I have a huge feeling of helplessness as I sit here and read the papers from Victoria
Herald Sun Homepage | Victoria, National & Australian News | Herald Sun (external - login to view)
The Age - Business, World & Breaking News | Melbourne, Australia (external - login to view)
and know that this is far from over. The undpredicatable winds, the heat that threatens to come back sooner than later, the men and women who are still out attempting to control these fires. I know that this is front page news all over the world, I know that this kind of thing happens in places other than Australia... but it's my homeland that is under threat, the pain and reality are intensified and a part of me wants to keep people aware of this, to do something that will help, even if it's just bringing awareness.