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Fires down under

Tom Lathrop

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I'm in touch with a builder in Australia who is on vacation in eastern Victoria where evacuation is common.  Many have been evacuated with some being taken by landing craft and other boats.  They are OK as of now although nearby fire and smoke must be pretty bad. Travel by many roads is impossible to mobility is limited.  Temperature is very high and, with a spark, stuff just explodes.  We hope for the best as this is about as bad a weather event as can be imagined.  My floods seem less severe after seeing this. 


Some pictures and video of an Island off the coast of Victoria.


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My friends were flown back to Melbourne on a Hercules aircraft but had to leave their car, gear and the boat behind.  They will go back and pick up the boat and car later.  Hope all works out well for them as the near term looks pretty safe and good.  Future weather does not look too good for Australia according to long term weather reports.  The current fire situation and weather were not a surprise and were predicted.  It seems the Australian PM dismisses expert advice almost as well as our own leader.

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I've never seen it this bad, but I haven't quite been here 10 years.  It's not even the height of fire season yet and the other day a suburb of Sydney recorded a high temperature of 120F.  It's strange watching this unfold from Perth, given that conditions here have been quite nice this summer.  Most of my co-workers are in Sydney and Melbourne so I hear about the smoke, etc. in my regular teleconferences.  It's hard to fathom how many people have been adversely affected by these fires, not to mention the toll this is taking on the flora and fauna.

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