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Australian fire zone declared a crime scene; death toll 130

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My sympathy to the victims and their families. It's a tragedy we don't need.

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It's a tragedy we don't need.

Indeed it is a devastiting tragedy for those in Victoria, I have friends in that general area who I worry about greatly...a tragedy we don't need, but one we (humanity) have contributed to.

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I can see the haze of dust and smoke from my inner Melbourne place. Kinglake is a nice little town, a lot closer to Melbourne than a lot of people realise.... I unfortunately think that this is going to get a lot worse before it gets better, even with a cool change.

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Was kind of to be expected with the temperatures continuing the way they were and what not. Nonetheless a tragedy. Take care and hang tough, Aussies!

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What goes through the mind of people who deliberately start these fires? Do they even think what it might be like if their home got destroyed by a fire?

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It sounds like sheer hell.

Condolences to those who have lost lives, family or property. And respect to the firefighters.

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Marysville, where I once spent a romantic interlude with an old girlfriend, was apparently wiped from the map. :(

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Go hard Aussies, you can deal with this.

All sympathies to those who have lost loved ones. :-(

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Good luck with that.

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In perhaps 20 years I think that the whole state will be uninhabitable because of bushfires, drought, heatwaves, lack of water (presently Melbourne is on a 150 litres a day water limit). These ongoing problems are not going to go away as global warming continues its impact. Combined with a city (Melbourne) completely lacking in infrastructure you can class Melbourne as one of the first unlivable cities to occur in the world due to lack of foresight from governments and global warming problems.

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76 and rising...I can't even begin to imagine....

found this....... a man arrived with his infant daughter, saying his wife and other child had been killed. He was so badly burnt He had skin hanging off him everywhere and his little girl was burnt, but not as badly as her dad, and he just came down and he said 'Look, I've lost my wife, I've lost my other kid, I just need you to save (my daughter)'

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As accustomed as we Aussies are to the scourge of bushfires,this one will affect the nation's psyche more than the Bali bombings did.This is an epic catastrophe.I have been listening to the radio reports online of the people stuck in a house with 8 kiddies as the house next door burns up with people inside..and no help for miles.At the same time,the whole north of Queensland is completely flooded and in a state of emergency itself,and today a 5 year old boy was taken by one of the many crocodiles that has been washed in.It is like a yin-yang of death...all that water and the fireys can't get a drop.Some people doubt global warming,but as a country that exports so much of the fossil fuels that are speeding it up,Australia will pay an evermore heavy burden, as FineDiner points out. Keep praying for those trapped and left without a leg to stand on,and the firemen and women who are battling these infernos with their very lives.These pyromaniacs should be jailed for life at the least..now we wait for the copycats to make the situation even worse in the next few days.

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Before anyone jumps the gun, there has been no indication so far that this was started intentionally. It does indeed say that half or so of the yearly 60,000 are started intentionally, but lest we forget this year has seen drier and hotter temps than ever recorded consecutively in history, and all that dry, dead wood is enough for pretty much anything to set off a brush fire. Don't get me wrong, I'm not defending anyone, and if you show me someone did it I'd be happy to stand behind everyone else and demand the person(s) get a severe sentence, but I just don't see baying for blood before it's proven someone did it as being productive.

I do wish I were there to help, but beyond that all I can do is wish everyone stay well away and be safe. My outright condolences for the families of the deceased and injured.

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Smithinjapan - damn good post.

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Thank you Smith. I was going to address that myself, but you did a better job than I would have anyhow.

Victoria police Deputy Commissioner Kieran Walshe said police suspected some of the fires were set deliberately.

The police always suspect foul play. They don't wait around for evidence to just fall into their laps. They would not be able to catch a cold with that approach.

As Smith said, odds are good this was an act of God, or even accidental. But the police are not paid to assume that.

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"Global Warming " is not the reason for these fires.

The Greenies won't allow you to clear dead wood or "old growth" or practice controlled burning to prevent fires like this.

Arsonists should be warned they will be tried for treason, plain and simple.

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Its an absolut tragedy. We all know it happens every year, but so many deaths are no good. I even have to leave Japan because my family's property in Kinglake has been destroyed :-(

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smithinjapan - It has been confirmed that several of the fires were deliberately set by arsonists. The S.A. Premier has described the arsonists as "terrorists". One suspected arsonist was stopped by a witness who made a citizen's arrest after noticing the man acting suspiciously at Mount Penang Parklands, on the Central Coast. The Killarney Vale man, 31, was charged with lighting a blaze near Gosford that burned 175ha of bush. In the Blue Mountains, a teenager was also charged for setting a fire that burnt a small area of bushland behind a community hall in Francis Rd, Faulconbridge. The 15-year-old boy was charged with setting fire to property and possessing explosive devices. The Victorian Country Fire Authority had confirmed many of the fires ton the weekend were deliberately lit. CFA deputy chief Steve Warrington said firefighters battling a blaze at Churchill were being hampered by at least one firebug, re-igniting areas after fire crews had been through to extinguish the fire.

http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/story/0,22049,25026642-5001021,00.html

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You know, many of the 85 dead would've survived had they evacuated their homes and fled the blaze area sooner instead of putting in a futile effort in garden hosing the flames. Now both their lives and homes are gone.

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"In the Blue Mountains, a teenager was also charged for setting a fire that burnt a small area of bushland behind a community hall in Francis Rd, Faulconbridge."

That's about 15 minutes from where I live. If I ever happen to find out that kid's name, he's going to get it.

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Isn't this equivilant to our summer fires? The ones that start from lightning and embers from even controlled fires.

It is horrible though. < :-)

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Apparently, some of the fires were deliberately lit although, they only have proof and have laid charges for a couple of fires in NSW. Some of the Victorian fires may also have been deliberately started. If convicted, they will be facing murder charges. A real natural and unnatural disaster.

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I must be sick, I agree with Wuzz.

There are a number of factors that contribute to bushfires in Australia.

Firstly, as Wuzz points out, people living in cities and rural towns, etc., like to have trees around them for both aesthetic and practical reasons (the heat in summer). In many cities, because of the irregular rainfall, etc., the best trees for such urban planning purposes are native eucalpyts. At the same time, however, these same people are often resistant to burn-back programs that get rid of built up leaf litter, etc. It also has to be understood that eucalpyt trees don't burn, THEY EXPLODE. This is because of the high oil content in the leaves (and the wood itself). All you need to complete the arithmatic is some hot weather. This is what has happened in Australia this year.

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Definitely the year of fire.

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Climate Change is a factor, because Victoria is in at least the second year of a terrible drought. Global warming doesn't just mean a general warming of the earth's median temperatures, it means weather patterns are disrupted and changed. However, Victoria law enforcement is actively looking for arsonists who took drought advantage of conditions, whatever-their-cause. Just because it's dry doesn't mean that the area is going to burn.

This is a human tragedy on a scale larger than Australia has ever dealt with. Attempts on both sides to politicize it are crass and vulgar, especially from those who aren't even Australian and are trying to superimpose American politics onto the deaths.

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condolences to anyone that has lost loved ones, both humans and pets.

It appears the loss of life could have been prevented had some sort of bush fire awareness been about. Many have died in cars trying to escape. A lot of people I know who live down that way have gone from urban to semi rural/ rural living, thus don't know how to deal with such a circumstance.

I know there is the evidence to support fire bugs, but you gotta think in a dry environment over 40 degrees Celsius, things tend to catch fire. the wind and temperature is definitely a major factor. Things have caught fire on my grandfather's farm when we were kids under less harsh circumstances.

Lets hope this can all come to an end.

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The Australian Red Cross has opened a site for donations.I am sure that anything would be appreciated. http://www.redcross.org.au/default.asp

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I could not imagine what it would be like in such a bushfire. I hope it will be under control soon

wuzzademcrat (so it is again the fault of the democrats?):p

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For those who thought people could have escaped sooner: one person who was interviewed said that at one point the fire was 70km away - within 30 minutes it had covered that distance and engulfed everything....noone could have predicted that. My condolences to everyone involved...Gambatte brave firefighters.

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It is so sad ,so horrific. I think anyone deliberately start a bushfire in Asutralia between December and Febuary should be shot on sight! Life sentence is too good for those terrible criminals.

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My uncle's house is in Marysville. There were twenty houses left after the blaze, fortunately for him his house is one of them. But the people with houses left are tormented by being so lucky and seeing their friend's houses destroyed. Even to survive can bring feelings of sadness.

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It's unbelieveable what people do when it comes to fires. Several years ago there were fires all across Kentucky. Come to find out there were guys in boats floating along the shore line of a lake lighting fires. Fortunately there weren't the deaths Australia is seeing.

Fires are so devistating.

Pray for rain and that these idiots starting fires stop. < :-)

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simple math says that 70km distance in 30 minutes equals 140km/h speed. i doubt this statistic. this would mean that the firewall moved at faster than hurricane speeds.

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PepinGalarga- read the reports. The fire moved faster than a locomotive.

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Pepin, that speed is believeably true. The reports I've watched and read, said that the reason that why so many people have been killed, and even though these people appeared to have escape plans in place, was the speed of the fire. People have been saying they have never seen anything like this at all, the winds have really powered those fires to incredible strengths.

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wow

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