On February 7 2009 devastation took on a whole new name when the fires of Black Saturday roared through this area leaving nothing but a black an charred mess in it’s wake. Don’t get me wrong when I only talk about ‘this’ area, many places in the state of Victoria burned on that day and they were all equally devastated but ‘this’ area is my home town, the town I grew up in and the town I’ve lived in on and off for more than 30 years. A town that has had it’s share of bushfires over the years has not seen fires as big or as devastating for more than 70 years.
For us the Black Saturday started the week or so before Feb 7 when a deliberately lit fire was started over the hills about 40 ks away. Homes in the area were lost, cattle were lost, the bush was turned black and 3 out of the 7 farms we maintained came under direct threat. Had the weather been worse on that day and had the CFA and the community not been able to stop that fire chances are Black Saturday for us would never have happened because the area would have already been burning. If the weather conditions of that day had been similar to that of a week later there is many who claim the first fire would have travelled the 40ks and our locals would have been protecting their own a week before our fire was started.
Small mercies? Who knows but while the first fire was contained but still not completely under control some sick and twisted prick with a match decided to light a fire in the grass roadside 20 ks from the first fire on a day of 45 degree heat fanned by 80km northerly (hot) wind gusts. Once that fire was lit there was nothing the CFA and the community could do. Obviously that didn’t stop them like all communities they banded together. The CFA and every emergency service able to help fight fires turned up, those areas that didn’t have immediate threats or weren’t rushing to the other effected areas rushed in to battle the beast that would not be tamed until it was ready.
At one point they estimated the fire was moving at 5ks every 10 minutes and spotting up to 10ks ahead of itself thanks to the strong winds. Those fighting the fires had no chance but they never gave up. When the fires came over the hill into the small area where the house I grew up in still stands those who stayed to defend stood little chance it was mostly luck that saved what still stood at the end of the day.
One guy I knew spent hours fighting the fires on the peak of one hill, he and his team trying relentlessly to save the homes of others while his house exploded in flames on the other side of the valley. Sadly he is but one of many similar stories that these volunteers have. The day was utter devastation for so many.
While our fires were bad, there is many places in this world who have suffered similar or worse and and for many reasons, but the one thing that rarely changes is the devastation such fires cause.
So what’s the point of this post? Not much I guess I’m just sick and tired of seeing and hearing people bitching and moaning about how devastating things are because some orange skinned toupee wearing goose is now the President. News flash people, the bitching and moaning would still be there is Hilary got in, it would just be a bunch of different people doing the bitching and moaning. We had the same problem in this country when the last goose took over.
Just because the leader you like didn’t get the big job does not mean the world will end and given that they are all politicians chances are your preferred leader would have done just as many stupid things in the big chair anyway. People need to get some perspective in life, bushfires, earthquakes, cyclones, typhoons and so many other things are devastating this world far more than one idiot politician who might be able to put his finger on the button but will never be allowed to push it.