Victorian Bushfire Update 10/2/2009

To: "'Birding Aus'" <>
Subject: Victorian Bushfire Update 10/2/2009
From: "Paul Dodd" <>
Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2009 23:45:01 +1100
A different sort of report today.


My sister lost everything including all the basics - crockery, cups, mugs,
glasses, cutlery, pots and pans - everything. I decided that on the way to
see them I would stop off and see if I could buy some bits and pieces. I
stopped at Greensborough shopping centre and wandered around. Eventually I
found a House store. They had everything I needed all on sale - for more
than 50% off. I started saying to the sales assistant that I wanted two
crockery sets, four different sets of glasses, a cutlery set and so forth -
for my sister who had lost everything in the bushfires. At this the sales
assistant and her manager both started to cry and said that they would give
me a discount - they would give it all to me for nothing if they could, but
they weren't allowed to. The sales assistant then asked if they needed a
place to live - she lived by herself nearby and had plenty of space. I
thanked her for her incredibly kind offer and told her that my sister
actually had some accommodation, but if she wanted to help, the ABC was
collecting offers of goods and services on their web site - .
I eventually walked out of that shop with a trolley full of goods at half
the half-price amount!


As I walked past the Vodafone shop, I remembered that my nephew, who had
lost his phone in the fire, was with them. I asked what we should do and
they said that it was easy, just come in and get a new blank SIM card which
they will reprogram to the old number and buy a new phone. Anyway, later
that day I came back with my nephew and went to the shop. They did the SIM
reprogramming for nothing and sold me a new phone at cost price (once again
they weren't allowed to go below that). They also said that if they could,
they would have given us a phone for nothing too.


I also returned to the office today. My colleagues and staff all expressed
an interest in helping in some way. That's some way beyond donating money.
The general feeling was one of powerlessness - they wanted to be physically
doing something to assist - even if it was simply making lunches for
survivors or firefighters. I'm trying to find out more about this, but the
best advice I have been given is to register on the Volunteering Australia
website -


I have never experienced such a high level of community spirit before. I
remember this feeling immediately after the Ash Wednesday fires in 1983, but
certainly not to this degree.


Ruth is heading out to Woori Yallock tomorrow which is where some of the
effort for the Healesville and Bunyip fires is being coordinated from.
Hopefully I'll have some first-hand accounts of those fires then. There is
not much point in me returning to the fire zone until I can get access -
there is no indication of when that will be. The police did allow a small
number of people into Kinglake today - but only from Whittlesea. No access
has been permitted north of St Andrews yet.


The Bunyip fire was threatening Gembrook earlier today, but is apparently
not posing a threat to population centres at the moment. I also believe that
Tonimbuk is no longer under threat. Unfortunately however a vast amount of
Bunyip State Park has been destroyed. I have no concrete information on
Buttongrass Track (the most reliable spot for Southern Emu-wren and
Beautiful Firetail) - but given the area of destruction I am almost certain
that it has been burned.


I spoke to a friend today who lives at Crystal Creek, just south of
Yackandandah and north-east of Beechworth. The fire has moved north wiping
out the settlement of Stanley and was 12km south of Crystal Creek. The
Myrtleford-Yackandandah Road had been cut. Alerts are still in effect for
this area, but the fire is moving quite slowly. The thoughts are that this
fire is behaving more like a "conventional" bushfire than the firestorm that
hit Kinglake on the weekend.


Paul Dodd

Docklands, Victoria



To unsubscribe from this mailing list, 
send the message:
(in the body of the message, with no Subject line)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU