Collected thoughts from the weekend.

This weekend has been a tragic one for so many people around Victoria it makes everything else seem trivial. So all I have to offer is a collection of trivia from the Dave from Albury compound.

Living without air conditioning is unpleasant, but it’s possible, even when the mercury hits 44°C. It’s amazing what a wet towel or a burst with the hose can achieve.

Quote of the weekend: Mrsdave upon seeing a Cliff Richard ‘Tribute’ performance being broadcast on ABC1. “When did the ABC start turning everyone’s living room into an RSL club?”

Listening to bushfire reports was frightening. Hearing the calls start reaching the ABC from Kinglake as the fire front hit was chilling as the enormity of the situation became apparent.

The smoke in Albury since Saturday afternoon is oppressive and gives you a strange reminder of what’s happening so close to home, yet leaving us materially unaffected.

We watched commercial TV news for the first time in months last night, along with Channel Seven’s new Sunday Night program. The vision of destruction was breath taking. Sunday Night looked promising, it reminded me of what 60 minutes was like years ago, I wonder how long before it’ll turn to shit.

11 thoughts on “Collected thoughts from the weekend.

  1. I’m kinda struggling with the enormity of what is happening here. Now I know it is easy for me to say not being anywhere near the areas affected and the conditions being experienced, however given what Victoria has gone through in the past with Black Friday and Ash Wednesday I struggle to comprehend that people not only choose to stay in their homes and attempt to fight the fires themselves in an effort to protect their homes, but are allowed to and are not ordered by police (or any other authority) to leave and get to a safe spot. I struggle to comprehend that there is no action plan to get the less mobile out of their homes and to a safe area. That in this era of communication that we could not notify these people to get out of their homes and get somewhere safe.

    I understand that what occurred over the weekend happened very quickly and that there is the very real possibility that in some cases there was no escape from this disaster…but obviously in some cases the message of how serious this thing was did not get to people.

    But then last night we saw footage of people trying to fight fires of up to 20 metres all with a garden hose and all I could do is yell at the TV “for fuck sake get the hell out of there”. Who possibly thinks that a garden hose or a bucket of water is going to make a shit of difference at that time? People in that situation are not only putting their lives at risk, but also the people who’ll have to go in and save them…

    My heart and thoughts go out to everyone affected down there…

  2. The CFA message is always leave early or defend your property, most of the deaths seem to have occurred when people left too late. This morning they are appending the message, saying that if you can see flames it’s already too late to go.

    The speed that these fires moved was beyond anyone’s experience or expectation.

  3. Look…I appreciate that it is far easier to say this from afar and not being involved…but surely the message now has to be “leave early” and nothing more. Giving people the option to protect their property from a fire that late in the peace is not right – by all means take precautions for a fire before summer hits, but doing it as a fire looms? It’s all too late for that…

  4. The thing is that well defended homes, and their occupants, usually survive a bushfire.

    I really don’t know what I’d do if given the decision, on one hand preserving your life is your highest priority, but if every earthly possession you own is destroyed, how much of your life is affected? Bear in mind that for people on farms they’re not just facing the loss of their home, but their entire livelyhood, I can’t imagine how that would impact your thinking.

  5. The thing that makes me angry is young people standing guard with a garden hose, and tank top/shorts/thongs.

    I’ve got to say this, guys, B R A I N L E S S !

    As soon as the fire hits, they’re bloated, blistered bodies. As an ex CFA volunteer I don’t need to see another one to remind me what they look like.

    About the inferno in general, previous years were picnics. It seems this time ALL elements that make for a massive burn seemed to contribute 110% setting the scene for “take no prisoners” event of enormous magnitude.

    Spare a thought for the crews that made the gruesome discoveries. It stays with you for the rest of your years.

  6. See this link for how hot the fires can get and the need to get away very, very early:

    http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/heat-similar-to-dresden/2009/02/08/1234027855652.html

    I agree with Alex in that it surely escapes comprehension that the saving of material items could be prioritised above the risk of serious harm or death to you and your family, particularly in the age of the mortgage and consequently compulsory insurance. That said, and to paraphrase The Castle , there is much more to a home than the walls and what lays within. I choked up when I did the final walk around our then empty first home before handing over the keys; particularly when I looked into my daughter’s bedroom. The thought of losing so much so quickly would test the urge to ere on the ‘fight’ side of my nature.

    When I hear of these tragedies, I can’t help but wonder what would I do in these situations: it goes without saying that the family would be in the car and well on the way to safety if the winds so much as changed direction, but when would I go, for what would I wait to pack?

  7. See this link for how hot the fires can get and the need to get away very, very early:

    http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/heat-similar-to-dresden/2009/02/08/1234027855652.html

    I agree with Alex in that it surely escapes comprehension that the saving of material items could be prioritiesed above the risk of serious harm or death to you and your family. Particularly in the age of the mortgage and consequently compulsory insurance. That said, and to paraphrase the castle , there is much more to a home than the walls and what lays within. I chocked up when I did the final walk around our then empty first home before handing over the keys; particularly when I looked into my daughters bedroom.

    When I hear of these tragedies, I can’t help but wonder what would I do in these situations: when would I go, for what would I wait to pack?

  8. I heard a fellow from Kinglake today telling how he’d received the call to leave with about 30 minutes notice, thinking he had three or four hours to prepare. He went next door to find his neighbours watching the TV, oblivious to the fact that there was any fire danger at all.

    John Brumby has announced a Royal Commission, I suspect that we will hear a lot of sad and amazing stories before this tragedy is finally laid to rest.

  9. Most possessions can be replaced Dave. Lives can’t. As much as I have the shiny possession gene (like your good self), if it came down to it I’d be out of there way before the need to be driving through flames or fighting fires in the backyard.

  10. I don’t think that is the shiny things that keep people at the pump. There must be many factors that make people want to fight for their home, the least of which maybe that they don’t have the means to just make do for the 12 months whilst the insurance comes in. If you don’t have the cash in the bank, it must be awful to not know how you are going to feed your kids that night, or clothe them during the day. You can’t insure the kid’s school books or their trophies, nor can you insure the photos of the deceased or your child’s first steps. Perhaps people fight because they feel that there is no real alternative.

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