8 Feb 2009, 10:11pm
Latest Fire News
by admin

Australian Fire Death Toll May Reach 230

131 people dead, 750 homes destroyed in worst bushfires in Australia’s history

News.com.AU, Feb. 9, 2009 [here]

PRIME Minister Kevin Rudd said arsonists in Victoria had committed mass murder as the death toll in Australia’s worst ever bushfires rose to 131 this afternoon, with the final toll expected to be much more.

Authorities are being warned to expect a toll of 230, The Australian quoted sources inside state emergency meetings as saying.

Fires were still burning out of control and putting towns at risk in the Beechworth and Yackandandah regions in the state’s northeast. Shortly after 4pm (AEDT) a third town, Toolangai, was also put on alert.

Amid speculation some of the fires were deliberately lit - and with reports yesterday that people were returning to relight blazes after fire crews had left an area - Mr Rudd said: “There are no words to describe it other than mass murder.”

At least 750 homes have been destroyed and 3733 people have registered with the Red Cross after evacuating their properties. The number left homeless is expected to be far higher, the Red Cross said.

It was confirmed that at least four children have died, but that figure would also be expected to rise as full details emerged.

A two-year-old girl was among 13 in intensive care in hospital. Twenty-two people with shocking burns were admitted to the Alfred hospital, the state’s main trauma centre, where staff ran out of morphine trying to ease patients’ pain.

Most of the damage was done by two massive fires - one that virtually wiped out towns northeast of Melbourne including Kinglake and Marysville with a 100km front - and a second inferno that raced across Gippsland. … [more]

Large gallery of fire pics [here]

9 Feb 2009, 11:12am
by Tallac

Old article, but worth a re-read:

“Islam Group Urges Forest Fire Jihad”


I hear 2 arsonist have been apprehended. I am curious as to their nationality/religious/political affiliation.

9 Feb 2009, 11:41am
by Mike

Breaking news on Australian fire disaster from the Herald Sun [here]



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