Help our Australian neighbours now! Join the challenge!
To unite New Zealanders and New Zealand businesses to provide urgently needed support for victims of the Victorian bushfires.
Our programmes include delivering Meals on Wheels to people at home, providing emergency response and welfare support in times of emergency and disaster, helping to settle former refugees, and much more.
Bushfire Update 13 February 2009
Thirty-one fires are still burning out of control across Victoria. Fires have so far burnt 455,000 hectares. The death toll stands at 181 but authorities expect that figure to increase. Healesville residents were warned to enact their bushfire plans this morning after a flare-up of the 26,000-hectare Maroondah-Yarra complex blaze, which on Saturday ravaged the town of Marysville. The blaze is now within three kilometres of the Yarra Valley township and ash is falling in the main street. Blazes of major concern include the Kinglake complex, which has so far burnt 116,400 hectares, the Yea-Murrindindi complex (108,000), the Maroondah-Yarra complex (26,000) and the Bunyip State Forest fire (25,000). EPA Victoria today issued a low smoke advisory for Melbourne ahead of a change in the wind direction this afternoon. Soot and black smoke is expected over Melbourne's eastern suburbs today. Firefighters are taking advantage of cooler conditions this week to back-burn, fortify control lines and ``black out'' areas. But the race is on to get on top of the fires before expected extreme temperatures and hot northerly winds by Wednesday and possibly of lightning strikes on Monday that could start new fires ahead of Wednesday's blast of heat. ''At the moment fire can hit at any time and we've got to make sure people are prepared,'' Mr Spargo said.