My Dad lived in a native Bush area of Victoria when I was growing up. We had kangaroos in the front yard each morning. 14 people were burnt to death in that area today with another 25 missing, possibly dead.
I was 12 during the 1983 fires in Victoria – known in Australia as ‘Ash Wednesday’ – when 75 people were killed across two states (Victoria 43 and South Australia 33).
I remember the sky going black – like it was night, then red. We went into the centre of the house together and I lay down on the floor. We didn’t know how close it was. We had no car (I think my step-father was using it). Mum covered me with a blanket because as an asthmatic I was having trouble breathing the smoky air.
Turned out it wasn’t close at all. But I never forget that feeling of deep fear watching the air burn around you and not knowing if it was coming or not.
These are some photographs taken today. (Images Source: http://www.theage.com.au)