Stay Safe people - the radio reported that one of the men killed had been going to surrounding properties and telling people to leave immediately as the danger was closer than they thought. He died, but saved many!!!
I'm assuming many of you have heard about the bushfires in the SW of WA over the last week or so. The effects to individuals, families, towns and the region as a whole have been devastating. For those who don't know, this is a major agricultural region of the state; much of our meat & dairy comes from this region, as well as countless other foodstuffs. It's also a major tourist area, with areas comparable to the Barossa Valley in SA and Mornington Peninsula in Vic. Thankfully we've had firefighting teams from the Eastern States come over to help out; I only hope their services aren't required in their home states for everyone's sake.
Tragically lives, homes, livelihoods, and entire communities have been lost (the town of Yarloop was effectively wiped off the landscape within 7 minutes).
With the fires still burning, many people are also starting to realise the follow-on effects from such an event and have been caught unprepared. Specifically, major arterial roads are closed, the power grid in the region has been hit very hard, and what is normally a 2 hour drive from Bunbury to Perth is now taking up to and over 6 hours. Shortages of fuel, food, beverages, etc are becoming commonplace. I've had customers affected because we just can't get a vehicle into the area.
While too many people had no option but to evacuate (hot weather and strong winds eliminated any chance of defending many properties), it's amazing that so many people have been caught without basic necessities (such as water, stored food, etc).
This is an all-too-common reminder of why we prepare, why we must always be vigilant, and how the systems upon which we depend can be taken down by something as common as a lightning strike.
I've also just heard reports through work contacts that the traffic is mayhem (due to the detours in place taking so long), and reports of idiots driving dangersouly - overtaking when unsafe, some cars and at least one caravan rolling over because of stupid driving, etc will never cease to amaze me. The emergency services personnel have enough to deal with atm without these dickheads.
My main concern personally is that Mrs Pete and the kids are on the south coast atm (hundreds of km from the fires), but they'll get home through the same roads being used for detours. Let's hope the idiots have all moved on by then.
As the article states, arson is still being investigated. But if they do find some dickhead deliberately lit this bushfire in the current hot weather, I will gladly donate, deliver and dispatch the bullet that puts this prick out of our misery.