Monday, 9 February 2009

Australia burns -continued...

Dale McDonell has reported to the International Canna Group that, "Just heard from Raelene who is on this list. She was at her parent's home when the fires broke out and has been helping to save the house for most of the day. She said she never knew her parents owned so many garden hoses. Her grandparent's house has gone. The houses either side of her brother's home have both been burnt to the ground as has the local shop just a few hundred metres from where Raelene is. In fact, she says it is still burning."

"In typical Raelene fashion she tells me she found some new/old cannas just before the fires started late this morning."

"Things are very bad across the whole state of Victoria. We are talking about an area bigger than the whole British Isles including Ireland. Hundreds of homes burnt and to date 30 dead, but many more fatalities expected to be discovered when fire crews can access areas still ablaze. Fire fighting resources are stretched well past their limit and some areas can receive no help. Ambulances cannot reach injured people. It is a dire situation."

"We just had a telephone call from our neighbor who went to stay with friends for the weekend. We are feeding and watering livestock while they are away. He broke down on the phone and went into shock as his wife was explaining things on the phone. They have been fighting all afternoon to help save their friend's house where they were staying. Animals in the paddocks all dead but they saved the house. Exhaustion and heat stress took their toll."

Dale confirned that, "We are safe here but the air is full of smoke. Just went to put the sprinklers on the canna beds and swinging the torch across the area I was greeted with a host of freshly opening blooms and bright, healthy foliage. They are amazing plants."

Canpelkni Blooms, Australia

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