Today the temperature top is expected to be half that of yesterday. 23C (73.4F). It's raining sporadically at my place. Electricity has flickered a few times. It's just a change compared to yesterday.
The death toll is 35 from the fires and looks to rise. Some people have said that the flames were 10 - 12ft high. The belief is that those who have perished did so because they left too late and died in their cars trying to outrun the fires.
I have lived in an area near where some of the fires are still burning.
I have rung/contacted some friends who live in the direct line of some of the fires.
I have contacted Bendigo friend - her house ok but many of her friends evacuated and property destroyed. (the fire came within 8kms of her house)
Coldstream friends spent the night with parents in closer suburban house - their house ok and may be going back to their property later today. Fires came very close to their home.
Can't contact Kilmore friends - whole town cut off from most of world.
Warragul friends - haven't tried to contact them yet (same as Kilmore) phone lines cut off. Assuming they drove to family in Melbourne.
Friends in and around Pakenham - again haven't established contact.
One town completely wiped out. The thought of realising that not only have you lost your property but the whole town, infrastructure etc, is gone is a little overwhelming.
What scares me the most is that a few of these fires were deliberately lit. I cannot fathom the thought process of such people.
I now wonder what I can do to help. Obviously staying in Melbourne is a priority. I am looking at donating blood - even though I have slow blood flow - for those who are injured. Just heard a website to look at and will immediately check it out.
The fire fighters, who are predominantly volunteers, are heroes! These people in the CFA, the DSE, the Red Cross, SES and anyone else who have done major/minor activities are amazing.