Monday, February 10, 2014
Meanwhile, In Australia...
This photo was taken from a plane that was about to land at Melbourne airport.
Now, I'm not currently living in Melbourne, though I was there yesterday morning, hours before this photo was taken. I didn't think to check the Country Fire Authority website before I left, and if I had, I would have stayed where I was, because it would have been safer than the three hour trek home. I very nearly couldn't get all the way home and if I'd taken the later train like I had originally intended, I would have been stuck on the other side of a closed train track and freeway forty minutes from home overnight. By that point, even the back roads had been closed. Luckily, I took the earlier train, and the back roads were still open and a few good souls were carting buses full of stranded passengers from one side of the fire to the other via the back roads while they still could. It was all low visibility and lots of smoke. Hours after I made it home, the areas we'd passed through on buses were told to evacuate.
Yesterday was the worst fire danger day since the Black Saturday bushfires in Feb 2009. My hometown remained safely out of the way... the fire kind of did an arch around us. There is an open cut coal mine on fire one town over, which can't be good news, but I'm relieved that conditions didn't get as bad as they did in '09, at least not as near to me, because that shit was just terrifying.
Conditions are heaps better in my area today, but other places are still in trouble, and things could get worse again any moment.
So basically, don't come to Australia. Especially not Victoria. Everything is on fire.
And the moral of this story? Check the CFA website next time!
So... how are you all doing? :)