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It's not a Happy New Year here in Australia

Hello, everyone. Greetings from Australia
I hope you are all doing well wherever you are reading this.

As I'm sure you've heard, things are not so good here in my part of the world.
2019 was Australia's hottest and driest on record. Our 2020 started, as the last century ended, with a New Year inferno. Devasting bushfires, record temperatures and air pollution at critical levels have made news across the world.

A massive thank you to all of you who have contacted me with love and concern asking how you can help with our current bushfire disaster.

We live in harrowing times, our news is filled with images that are sometimes beyond belief. My family and home in suburban Melbourne are all fine. For us, other than disrupted holiday plans, and the polluted air, we are largely unaffected. 

Except that sometimes everything seems to have changed, 
and at others, life goes on. It is the weirdest of times.

It is the saddest of times, especially for those who are directly affected by these tragic fires. As things currently stand, at least 25 people are dead and more than 1500 homes have been destroyed. 

The bravery of the firefighters and volunteer Fire Services is immense.

Fortunately, fatalities have been massively reduced, following learning from the Black Saturday fires in 2009 where 173 people died. Technology helps humans and we can set up alerts to keep informed for fire risk developments.

To share with you the extent of the disaster, international media tells us the 2018 California fires burnt 2 million acres; the 2019 Amazon fires 2.2 million; and the 2019 Siberian fires 6.7 million. As fires continue to burn across the land we have lost 12 million acres across the country. I can't even begin to talk about the loss of wildlife...

Every time it is the wildlife that is injured or burnt to death 
that is the tipping point of my anger.

This week we had some reprieve, and by this, we mean the weather has been cooler and there has been some rain. However, there are still fires burning in 6 states and 130 fires burning in New South Wales. We are heading for extreme heat again on the weekend... 

Right now I am in regional Victoria and I am using the Vic Emergency App.
You set a location and receive alerts for Warnings and Incidents
My App tells me that in my current location (Northern Country) 
has is a VERY HIGH fire danger today.

I receive a text message every time there is a bush fire warning. 
Last night the phone pings and there is a fire at Kangaroo Flat.
I can see four fire engines are responding and where it is in relation to me.
It is reassuring in scary times.

I mean how has life come to this?

We are also closely monitoring Air Quality. Due to my Bangkok life where I live with a constant issue of poor air quality. I already had an App for this!

Who would have ever thought though that our air quality in Melbourne, Australia would be worse than in Bangkok? Canberra's air quality has been the worst in the world. 

I have brought my Bangkok mask to Australia. What I don't have are the air purifiers for inside the home like I have in Thailand... How long will it be before every house is being built with built-in air purifiers?

We are all in this world together.
As our friends in New Zealand will tell you who live over 4,000 km away and are now breathing in our polluted air, we all breathe the same air.

We are currently in the Summer holiday season in our part of the world
 and we still have the most intense heat month of February ahead and to contend with. Heaven help Australia.

The extreme heat and the accompanying swirling winds have been like opening a fan-forced oven. I hope they don't come back... The speed that these fires can travel is unbelievable. 

The world's compassion and support have been immense.
Many of you have recounted your visits to Australia and your wonderful memories of trips far and wide across the land. We know your countries are sending Firefighters, Troops and Aid. We see everyday people and celebrities making generous donations and saw how Climate Change took centre stage at the Golden Globe awards.

I am reading so many heartfelt comments through my social media accounts.
I wanted to thank you for each and every one of them.

To the people who send their best wishes and have donated to the relief funds Thank you.

If you would like to read Buttercup's post: 
My heart and prayers are in Australia click here
Melbourne's Daily: Bushfires click here
Life Images by Jill: Australia is Burning click here
Making Animal Pouches With Love click here
50 Shades of Age: Australia has been burning click here
Traveling HoneyBird: Should you travel to Australia click here

From Pat: MilleFioriFavoriti
It would be remiss if I did not mention how sad I am for the terrible fires occurring in Australia during this their summer season, and the concurrent destruction of human life and property and wildlife. I visited Australia in 2011 and enjoyed all its beauty.  One of the highlights of my trip was visiting Taronga Zoo--click here to see that post--and where I had the chance to hold this koala bear, as well as do a "walkabout" with kangaroos. Wildfire is always a danger in the United States West, so I truly sympathize with all the people of Australia and I hope and pray all the fires will be resolved very soon!

For those who love to Knit and Sew amongst you check out how you can help here

Linking with thanks to all the hosts at Our World Tuesday, Mersad at Through My Lens
 and to Betty at My Corner of the World

I'd love to connect with you further, you can find my contacts below!


Little Wandering Wren
Bangkok - THAILAND | Trip Advisor - Top Contributor
Not all those who wander are lost - J R R Tolkien


Oh Wren, my heart is breaking for your wonderful country - the people and the wildlife. We see the pictures on the news here in Canada and it's absolutely beyond comprehension. I'm sure we're not seeing the true extent either. Please know that thoughts and prayers are with you, as well as an earnest hope for rain. Take care of safe.
Veronica Lee said…
I have been praying hard for Australia -- I have many relatives residing in Sydney and Melbourne. My heart breaks for all who are affected by the fires.

Hope rain will come soon.

Stay safe, my friend.
Crimson Kettle said…
Terrible news, it just goes on and on. Stay safe. x
Coastal Ripples said…
Hard to know what to say in such awful times. Hopefully this will be the catalyst the world needs to do something quickly about our world problem. Stay safe. B x
betty-NZ said…
It's so sad to watch the news about the fires and you are all in our prayers. Hopefully, things will simmer down and be under control soon.

Your post is a great addition to 'My Corner of the World' this week!

My Corner of the World
The situation in Australia, a country I have visited twice, and plan to be doing so again in July, is nothing short of a disaster for the entire world. As you point out, we are all part of one world and the climate systems are interconnected. I have recently read two reports where climate scientists are starting to seriously ponder whether life in Australia, under accelerating global warming, is even going to be possible. These are sobering times indeed and I fear that we may have passed the tipping point. Not a day goes by that I don't think about your country and I am happy that Canadian firefighters are there to help in whatever ways they can. Today it is minus seven here and it is snowing. Oh what a difference a couple of days like that would make in the fire-ravaged parts of Australia.
eileeninmd said…

I am sad, to read about all these fires. The loss of lives, home and wildlife is devastating. I hope you and your family remain safe. I pray for Australia and I hope the country gets a break with the weather and some much needed rain. Enjoy your day, wishing you a great week ahead.
Sami said…
I had no idea you were back in Australia Wren.
The fires have been devastating to people and animals, hope you're safe.
Glad the weather has been cooler, hopefully it will help before the next heat wave hits.
Tarequl said…
Oh Wren, my courage is break because of thine amazing us of a - the human beings and the wildlife. We parley the pix on the information right here among Canada then it's simply past comprehension. I'm certain we're now not for a so much the authentic volume either. Please know so thoughts and prayers are including you, as like well as an lone desire because of rain. Take seriousness regarding safe.
Jeanie said…
I think of you and several other Aussie bloggers with every news report and beyond. This might be the best written of the posts I've seen about it. It breaks my heart to hear of the animals being destroyed, as well as the lives of humans ruined forever. My prayer is that these will be under control soon and rebuilding lives can begin.

I didn't realize you were back in Australia and that is probably a very good, if frightening thing. Sending love and all good prayers. And relief support via Red Cross as well.
I hope you continue to stay safe. This situation is devastating and horrific. We over here in the West are far away from the current fire threats, but we are still affected in some small way by what the eastern side of Australia is going through. Who cannot be affected? My heart goes out to those who have lost loved ones, homes, businesses, and to the enormous loss of animals and habitat. How can Australia recover from this? Thank you so much for linking my post to yours here. Take care. And I hope you and yours stay safe.
it is terrible what happens there for people, land, air, plants and animals! Thanks for this posting!
Stay healthy and take care of yourself!
Cynthia said…
Dead Wren, I have been thinking about you so often as the news and photos of the Australian fires dominate the news. We have given to a charity that helps the Native Australians, farmers, and animal rescue groups. So little we can do to help but know our thoughts and love are with your country through this horror. xo
Gattina said…
And as you certainly very well remember, here we always complain about rain and cold. And now when I see what happens in Australia it's almost impossible to imagine ! I only once had experienced excessive heat, tht was in Las Vegas when I went out of the hotel into 55°C and it seemed to me to walk in an oven ! My heart bleeds when I think about all these innocent animals without defense ! Fortunately so many volunteers are helping !
Lady Fi said…
These are such heartbreaking times!
Letting you know that you are thought of, it's heartbreaking what is happening in your country and hoping the much needed rain will arrive soon.
Heidi R. said…
It is a tragedy for people, animals and the whole country!
I hope and pray fervently that the rain will come and the temperatures will drop!
Janice said…
There are no words, only tears. namaste, janice xx
My heart breaks when I read this. We had bush fires around here and I know how horrifying they can be, but nothing remotely resembling the scope of yours, and no end in sight. Thank you so much for including the RSPCA info, I'm going to make some today and send them. You are in my thoughts.
Kathy Marris said…
Thank you for linking your post to mine Wren. It has been an extremely worrying time for all of we Australians. There's barely been a region in Australia that hasn't been affected by bushfires. We had them in the Gold Coast Hinterland for almost a month and it was terrible. I think the more we pull together and post the real facts about the climate change crisis we face in Australia, the better our country will be for our future generations.
It has been so sad and devastating to watch the news about the terrible fires.
My thoughts and prayers are with all who have been affected and still are being affected.

I pray cooler temperatures and rain comes soon.

All the best Jan
Sending love and prayers. So many of us are watching the news and sending donations. Keep the faith.

Jane x
It’s such a terrible tragedy. I’m so sorry that this is happening in your country and in our world.
Birgitta said…
I have heard and look in pictures whats happening in your country. Such a terrible tragedy :( Hope and pray that cooler temperatures and rain comes soon.
riitta k said…
The Australian fires - as well the fires around the world which you mentioned - are such tragedies. Your fires are on our Finnish news. I do hope you get some rain & cooler temperatures. My thoughts are with you.
Polly said…
I don't know what to say, words feel so helpless. It's heartbreaking. I didn't know you were back in Australia. I hope you and your family stay safe.
carol l mckenna said…
Wren ~ glad you are safe ~ sad that so many critters are dying or suffering ~ sending lots of healing energy to all ~ Yes, it is a difficult time ~ praying for safety for all ~ xxx

Happy Moments to You,
A ShutterBug Explores,
aka (A Creative Harbor)
~ Dixie said…
I am so sorry to read, see and hear about the fires there.
I can even imagine the devastation--so heart breaking.
Praying for rain and keeping everyone there in my thoughts and prayers.
Nancy Chan said…
It is heart breaking to read the news. Humans and wild animals suffer. And now another hear breaking news concerning the deadly virus in China. Indeed, this is difficult time we are going through.

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