Just dropping t0 let you know we are all fine! Well, as best you can be under the circumstances. I think all of Melbourne is in a state of shock and disbelief. We have had bushfires before but nothing of this magnitude or ferocity.
On Saturday it was so hot. It reached 46c - our highest ever recorded temperature. A scorching hot northerly gusterly was blowing. Perfect conditions for a bushfire. By lunch time the girls and I went off to Doncaster Shopping Town - an airconditioned shopping centre - to escape the heat.
When the shops closed at 5.30 we went outside to see if the predicted cool change had come yet. No. It was so hot we just about passed out just stepping outside. There was no way we were going anywhere! So back in we went and had some dinner and saw a movie. Normally from the food court you can see the city of Melbourne but on Saturday all sight was lost to dust and I presume smoke. We went home at 9.30 but still were not aware of what was going on so close to home. It wasn't until Sunday did we realise the devastation that took place. Many of the fires were at the fringe of Melbourne's suburbs - probably only 30kms "as the crow flies" from our place. Thank God the change came and the wind turned from being hot and northerly to cooler and southerly. We live on a bush block and are aware of the dangers that can present when the weather is hot and windy.
Many of the fires are still burning and at the moment do not pose a high threat. But lets pray that the weather stays cool so that they do not flare up again.
You can read more about the bushfires on Wikipedia. Or on many other sites if you google Victorian Bushfires.
If you want to help, you can make a donation to the Australian Red Cross.