fire

sudden shock
past and present gone
dreams are crushed

Last Saturday morning Maggie and I were taking our regular early morning power walk . As we began to cross the Scout Hall park we were confronted by fire trucks everywhere. My first reaction was the scouts had let a campfire loose then as we neared the hall and the Primary School appeared it was suddenly obvious. The scene was frenetic, firemen were still playing water through windows and a huge gantry ladder hovered in the air metres above the roof line spewing water down through a smoking, gaping hole in the roof. eople were gathered in small groups along the opposite street and police were preventing pedestrians from continuing down past the school as smoke was still drifting heavily from the buildings.

My first reactions were disbelief, then one of hoping this was accidental in cause. Upon arriving home I shared the experience with Jill and later that day we went back with a camera and these photos were taken. There was a calmness in the air, however the scout hall had become a community focus point , many teachers, parents and students were there and it was obvious much grieving had happened and still was occurring. We could walk around the street perimeter and see the extent of the damage.

This immediate fire experience brought home the reality of what fire does to communities and even though no lives were lost or people injured and One building was damaged the flow on effects became obvious from local news and social media sources. 500 students, their teachers and support staff, all their surviving resources, materials, furniture etc would be relocated in two nearby government schools, further inpacting on those school communities. A multi million dollar rebuild will commence soon and the effects multiply onwards . Thousands of people woke up on saturday morning much the same as from the day before however by Monday their regular lifestyles were in turmoil, but organised turmoil generally speaking. This one local fire suddenly made us realise the immense effects to our nation from the vast bushfires experienced across South east and West Australia recently and some are still burning.

Those of you who have mentioned our recent FIRES or responded to my earlier comments may be interested in these 2 YOUTUBE links. The first https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdGqTQkRVwE is a no holds barred documentary that takes the viewer into the horror of the fires and the immediate impact on people, animals and vegetation. The second https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrDkdcOkUkI is a public forum that runs every Monday night on National public television. It shares the effects thes fires had on communities and what Government must do. This is again graphic and heart wrenching. Each is about 45 minutes (no ads) and some of the best TV viewing you will ever experience. Please let me know if you watch one or both.

And if your contempt for Rupert Murdoch’s press and its Climate Change denial propaganda is as strong as most Australians watch this 10 minute youtube about how they still peddle this garbage even with these fires and their links to Climate Change .https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s23q9DkCaVY

Postscript. 6 teenagers handed themselves in to local Police in regard to the school fire.

christmas eve

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warm evening

christmas approaching

calm water

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Near Christmas eve at Ricketts Point on Port Phillip Bay. The birds are enjoying the peacefulness of this quiet time of day after all the people, (almost) have departed. One can almost feel the heat in the images as the sun dips towards the horizon.

As predicted Christmas day is hot and a strong north wind is creating havoc with fires down along the coast and in other parts of SE Australia.

Currently its 34 o C outside and  fire warnings on the internet tell us;

For the rest of Friday 25 December:

Severe Fire Danger is forecast for the following forecast districts:
Wimmera, North Central, South West and Central

The CFA advises that you:

For information on preparing for bushfires go to http://www.cfa.vic.gov.au.

Gariwerd

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a tourist playground

dreamtime memories

ancient survivor

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Gariwerd  to the Djab warring and Jardwadjali people for thousands of years, named The Grampians by a C19th Scottish explorer, now a Victorian national park and again known as  Gariwerd. This mountain range was formed  around 500 million years ago in a tectonic collision and then re shaped in another  about 400 million years later. This is a significant spiritual place for Indigenous Australians and a scientific dream for botanists and biologists. A thousand different flowering plants occur here which along with the  range of birds, mammals and insects, the ancient indigenous rock art and the unique natural landscape means thousands of people visit this national park from across Victoria, Australia and the world.

These 3 images are;

1.  Boroka Lookout at the Northern end of the park looking down to Halls Gap. And yes young males do go and sit on the edge sometimes.

2.In the middle of the park looking North to South a year after a devastating bushfire.

3. Gradual regeneration after a severe bushfire.