Monday, February 10, 2014

Bushfires

I can smell smoke outside this morning. If I can smell it and the fires aren't that close by I can only just imagine how bad it is for the people who live near the fires. Although there were quite a few fires around our area yesterday but nothing like some other parts of the state. I read somewhere that quite a few homes had been lost :-( It always breaks my heart when I hear things like that. 

Photo by Jason Edwards, Herald Sun newspaper.
Yesterday afternoon a BIG blaze started near Morwell, which is about 70 km (43 miles) from our town, and was dangerously close to the power station in Hazelwood. Last night the power went out at around 9:30 pm. I had visions of it being off for at least 24 hours or more. I even thought that the fire may have reached the power station after all. I am still unsure if it did but there were power poles/lines that came down due to the fire. 

It's funny what goes through your mind when something like this happens. Do we have enough cash? How far would we have to travel to get money, food and fuel for the car? How widespread is the power failure? I pictured us having to cook and all the food from the freezer rather than throwing it into the rubbish bins.

It turns out that most of West Gippsland had no power. From Morwell/Moe right through to Narre Warren (an outer suburb of Melbourne). I can't even imagine how large an area it covered in terms of kilometres but believe me when I say its a VERY BIG. The electricity supply company stated on their website that they did not expect the power to be back on until 5 pm today. Lucky us it came back on at around 3 am this morning.

Photo by Jason Edwards, Herald Sun newspaper.
The highway between Moe and Morwell is closed off to traffic as are many other roads. Who knows how long they will remain that way. I know that fires can sometimes burn for weeks before they are completely extinguished. Angus has work placement in Morwell starting this Friday and I will be driving him there. I am wondering if the fire was in the industrial estate where his work placement will be.
It will be interesting to find out whether the highway will be opened by then. I know that VicRoads will need to inspect the road for damage before giving the all clear. It will also be interesting to see how bad the fire damage is when I finally am able to get down that way.

Cross your fingers and toes for all the people affected by the fires. Do a rain dance if you can. Who knows it may help. 

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