Watching the flames from afar

Feb 9, 2009

Upon waking this morning, I was saddened to read the facebook status updates of some of my Australian friends referencing the bushfires in Victoria, Australia.

Knowing the recent record high temperatures most of Australia has been experiencing (40 degrees Celsius plus/104 degrees Fahrenheit plus). I was expecting the news to be bad but was shocked and troubled by what I read in the various online newspapers I scoured. At last count, 93 people were dead with many more in hospital, 750 home lost in the blaze and the state of Victoria has been declared a state of emergency.

Reading the news from here in the DC area I felt far removed from it, geographically. Since thanks to the recent DC weather I have been experiencing my coldest winter ever, at the same time I felt very close to what was happening in Australia.

The areas affected by the fires are some that Big Roo, being from Melbourne is extremely familiar with, visiting various family and friends there over the years. Close to him particularly as he served as a volunteer in the State Emergency Service unit which would no doubt be providing support services at this time.

He also grew up watching the daily news delivered by a man who along with his wife was found dead in their home that was engulfed by flames.

Even though I am watching this news from afar, it feels very close to home!