Satellite Images of 2009 Australian Bushfires

Article written: 8 Feb , 2009
Updated: 24 Dec , 2015


UPDATE: Satellite Images from February 9 have now been added below.

As of this writing, 94 people (update 2/9/09) 135 have been killed by out-of-control bushfires in southeast Australia. This image from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite shows multiple large fires (outlined in red) burning in Victoria on February 7. Huge plumes of smoke spread southeast, driven by fierce winds. Click here to see a larger version of the image, which shows a larger area, and a dust storm blowing over interior deserts to the northwest. News sources report these fires sprang up and exploded in size in just a few short hours. According to ABC News, authorities suspect arsonists are responsible for some of the fires. NASA says images captured by another satellite, the Terra MODIS sensor, just a few hours prior to this image showed no sign of these fires. Twice-daily images of southeastern Australia are available from the MODIS Rapid Response Team, and Universe Today will try to update the images when they are available. See more below.

Satellite image aquired Feb. 9 of southeastern Australia bushfires. NASA image courtesy the MODIS Rapid Response Team, GSFC.

Satellite image aquired Feb. 9 of southeastern Australia bushfires. NASA image courtesy the MODIS Rapid Response Team, GSFC.

The bushfire pictures above and below shows the Barry Mountains of central Victoria on February 9, 2009. The image at top is a natural-color (photo-like) view captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite. Places where the sensor detected active fire are outlined in red. The image below is the same scene shown in false color, using visible, near-infrared, and shortwave infrared light. Burned areas are brick red, and places of intense heat—often a sign of open flame in this kind of image—are glowing pink. Smoke turns a transparent blue, which makes it easier to see the ground.
False color image acquired Feb. 9.  NASA image courtesy the MODIS Rapid Response Team, GSFC

False color image acquired Feb. 9. NASA image courtesy the MODIS Rapid Response Team, GSFC

Southeast Australia has a history of severe fire problems, with some historic deadly fires such as Ash Wednesday of 1983, and lesser fires almost every year. The state of Victoria averages about 19 large fires (over 1,000 hectares) per year, but the fires this year are considered to be the worst ever. These fires are often fast like grassfire but more intense. 700 homes have been destroyed, and it is feared the death toll will rise to over 100. Twenty-six fires continue to burn across Victoria; 12 of those are out of control.
Satellite image of Australian bushfires from January 30, 2009.  NASA image created by Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, Goddard Space Flight Center.

Satellite image of Australian bushfires from January 30, 2009. NASA image created by Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, Goddard Space Flight Center.

This image was taken on January 30, during the beginning of when some of the fires began to break out. A crippling heat wave and strong winds contributed to an outbreak of forest and grassland fires in Victoria.

Sources: NASA Earth Observatory, ABC News

45 Responses

  1. Astrofiend says

    Yep – Australia has just gone through one of the worst heat waves in modern times – Adelaide in South Australia just had 10 consecutive days of >40 deg. Celsius, Melbourne (in Victoria where the disastrous fires are) just had something like 7 days over 40, and Sydney (which has it’s own set of fires burning, though no lives lost yet) has just had 5 days over 40. There’s also been a whole lot of barely sub-40 days before that thrown in for good measure. You could not possibly have better conditions for bushfires if you tried.

    The current count is 108 dead and is expected to rise significantly as emergency response teams begin to reach the worst hit areas. Over 750 homes destroyed too – truly a monumental disaster for the people of Victoria. Our thoughts are with you…

    Donations can be made through the Australian Red Cross to the 2009 Victoria Bushfire Emergency Fund if anybody felt so-inclined.

  2. Trippy says

    I live in the South Island of New Zealand. The wind yesterday was pulling the smoke, or at least the smoke haze across the Tasman Sea, and blanketing much of the South Island yesterday – we’ve been having a heat wave as well, partly because the same weather systems have been bringing hot dry air with them, and forcing it up one side of a mountain range.

    The sky yesterday was an eerie yellow colour – I should say the light, because we couldn’t see the sky, and by 4 pm it was dark enough that the nightlights were coming on, and we had to turn the inside lights on.

    I think perhaps one of the most disturbing facets of these events is that on the national news last night they were suggesting that at least some of these fires were deliberately set.

    I sincerely hope that the Australian Authorities manage to catch at least some of the individuals responsible.

  3. Salacious B. Crumb says

    Very sad and difficult situation for the communities in Australia. Bushfires (slightly different than wildfires that you know in the US) have traditionally been a way of life in this country, being part of the natural cycle in how the ‘bush” (vegetation) regenerates. In this case the combination of 100 kilometre per hour (60 mph) winds and summer temperatures mid-45 degree C (c.120F) caused devastation the likes of which that has been rarely seen. The media has reported flames were as high as an eight story building. Under these conditions, victims had absolutely no chance of survival nor escaping it, with the smoke so thick that no-one even saw the fire front coming!. Bodies didn’t even survive the heat, being literally cremated where they were caught by the flames.
    Even now, the true shock of the past days events have only begun to sunk in, but with the number of dead (last counted at 108), and probably many more to come. The time for grief and reflection will come in the next few days, but like most Australians in our resilient community, immediate support for those who have lost there homes and their family members will continue. My thoughts go out to them in this recent crisis.

  4. Astrofiend says

    Yep – Here’s a little story from the BBC that illustrates the horror:

    “In Kinglake, where witnesses said most of the town was destroyed, one woman quoted by the Melbourne Age described the arrival of a badly burnt man and his daughter seeking shelter on a patch of open ground.

    “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],'” she said. ”

    There have been a lot of stories like this. The fire was literally upon the towns in minutes and many people died in cars trying to escape… Many also died in the towns trying to save their homes.

  5. robbi says

    Sorry to hear of such damage and human misery. Austraiia always had the most variability or undependabilty of annual precipitation of any continent,only the far north and the SE portions have some type suitable dependible precipitation, but even the SE portions to which Melbourne is a part of,can have years of drought the likes of which western Europe does not have, and can be more severe and prolonged than the ‘dust bowl’ years in the American plains.
    I can understand the ‘Psyche’ of Aussie thinking-have to be tough. 45C for Melbourne,
    geezz, I hope the cooler weather forecast will
    get some type of containment for the fires, but the smoke pollution will continue for some time.. I will again visit the Perth area about Dec-Jan2010 as they have the same type Mediterranean climate to where I live, the Sacramento Valley, California US has, dry-hot summer, mild-moist winters. I want to again view the southern summer sky and visit the Perth and other areas as many areas are beautiful and interesting in its own right.
    I can understand why Aussies knew they were sighted contributing 15% to theGMT project dispite their GDP being far smaller than the US! Anne Mirard should have noted this!!!

  6. […] Una ola de calor y fuertes vientos contribuyeron a que el fuego se expandiera rápidamente por el bosque y la llanura de Victoria. […] Fuente: Nancy Atkinson para Universe Today […]

  7. Yael Dragwyla says

    God keep Victoria, AU, and all its life (except for the firebugs, who seem to be signaling its time for them to exit this vale of tears ASAP)! If anything was ever an argument for water desalinization on the widest possible scale, this is it — that drought isn’t going to end on its own, nor any time soon, and Australia needs water in job lots as quickly as possible! As a native of the Los Angeles Basin in Southern California, I thought I knew what heat was, but the Summers there are *nothing* compared to 117 F heat! Poor people — may rains come soon. God watch over you and keep you all, and speed the end of this horrible drought.

  8. melanie says

    Don’t even know what to say, I live in Adelaide South Australia I was feeling sorry for us experiencing over 40c Degree days but not now, now I feel for Victorians the devestation, the loss, the inability to do more to contain these fires. I’m so thankful other states have lent there fire crews to come over and help, and a message to the Arsonists “PLEASE control your Urge or addiction or hatred of people whatever reason is making you decide to light these fires and instead help contain what you have caused see how it feels to help someone instead of hurt them PLEASE consider what it might feel like to help people it can be a far greater feeling than hurting them” Victoria you are constantly in my prayers. I also pray for all Australian fires be contained.

  9. adam says

    The winds Over the past week have been sent straight down from the interior of south australia and west australia. A combination of these winds and 47 degrees was truly terrifying. I live in the wimmera and the fires of 2007 seemed to be the most extreme and intenese that we would ever encounter, sadly that was untrue, peoples descriptions of trees exploding couldnt be more accurate. Even my grand father wouldnt have seen fires as insane as these. When news reports said over 30 people had been lost, it was incomprehensable, today to wake upto 108 fatalitys is just horribly surreal. Fortunatley we live about 250 kms from where the fires are most concentrated, But when we awoke to 40 degrees
    ( Last Saturday)before 9 in the morning, and ferocious searing winds, all and sundrie were on very nervous high alert. All of us in the wimmera mallee and surrounding areas send our deepest sympathies and condolences to all the families affected by this terrible disaster, and hope a reprieve is in the coming hours.
    As for the arsonists involved in the lighting of these fires, I have had the displeausure of working with one, He was actually arrested one night after we had knocked off work, which was power line clearing for fire prevention( incidentally, which was the reason for the ash wednesday fires in 1983) He was a regular CFA(country fire Authority) volunteer, and would go out and light fires, then call it in and attend. If this is the mentality of your common arsonist,( which it is, as its a proven fact most fire bugs in country areas try to join local fire brigades) Then i fear we shall never see the end of such acts. No remorse or respect for human life is what defines these idiots and hanging would be my preferred method for handling such miscreants. I hope the the crews can get on top of it today. I used to love going to Marysville, Ovens all the small towns on the NW side of the Alps and its so sad to see those places and many highly populated areas decimated in such a profound foul swoop.

  10. Astrofiend says

    “If this is the mentality of your common arsonist… then i fear we shall never see the end of such acts. No remorse or respect for human life is what defines these idiots and hanging would be my preferred method for handling such miscreants.”

    Burning at the stake perhaps? I’d say in this case justice would best be served at hundreds to thousands of degrees.

  11. adam says

    the death toll may eclipse 200 ive just heard on the news. It will take weeks to properly identify victims as the coroner and the states forensics units are fully stretched. Victoria is a small state, i would suggest many people are going to either know someone or have some sort of link to alot of the victims. Even oneof our long time nightly tv news readers and his wife were not spared. Id also like to say after the human cost is counted and reconciled, the matter of wildlife is a heartbreaking and difficult job. Our bush has evolved to burn annuallyuptil 150 years ago, Koori people( aborigonies) all over australia would burn vast tracts of land, thus ensuring minimal fuel was left on the ground the following year. Not to mention thousands of different tree and plant species that depend on fire to renegerate, even the trees that dont use flame as a regeneration tool are normally able to withstand annual bushfires. But these fires as with the raft of fires we have endured over the last 5 years, have been too hot and fierce for any plant or animal to survive. Echidnas wallabys roos snakes lizards dozens of species ofparrot cockatoos and any other living creature is effectivly wiped off the face ofthe earth.
    If we ensured annual burnoffs in spring, i believe some of these problems would be avoided. We havnt done anything but supress fires for over 100 years, leading to the largest amount of fuel on the ground in recorded Australian history. In the Grampians, A state forest near our farm, th amount of fuel three years ago was close to
    twenty tons an acre, and two years ago a huge fire ripped through nearly the whole park scarring it for ever, Prevention is the only way to effectivly provide some protection from such horrors. Especially as our weather patterns have steadily gotten hotter and dryer. im only 35 and i can remeber when winters were wet, summers were hot and tha was that. now we effectivley have a 5 month fire season, and basically no rain.
    In lighter news, Beer is great.!

  12. Gwydion says

    My partner might have lost friends in Flowerdale…my mum’s childhood home and my friend’s childhood TOWN have been razed to the ground by fire.

    The toll is expected to climb over 200…its terrible. I can’t believe those arsonists – set them on fire and see how they like it, I say.

  13. Simon Douglass says

    Looks like global warming is starting to have a ‘tangible’ effect on the environment. In southern Australia, Adelaide had a heat wave of over 13 days I believe, Melbourne had 46.4C one day, which was the hottest day in any Australian capital city since records began, Victoria’s had it’s biggest bushfires ever, and up North about 2/3 of Qld is flooded and a declared disaster area (biggest floods since the 1960’s). I hope this is just a bad year and not the start of a downhill trend!
    I’m in Cairns (far north Qld) and so far I’ve had my car flooded due to flash flooding (about 200mm in an hour), blocked drains, sewerage has backed up and spilled out on my front door, and the supermarkets are nearly all out of food, because the only highway from down south has been flooded and unpassable for over a week, so trucks and trains can’t get through. But I’d much rather endure these conditions than the bushfires down south! Any day!

  14. Karen says

    OMG cool pics!!!

  15. Jorge says

    To see these images is creepy for me, bringing back memories of anxiously following very similar photos of smoke coming out of my own backyard, figuratively speaking. Also during a huge heat wave, almost a week above 40 ºC, also after a drought, also with fires raging for endless days without control, also with human hands involved in setting the fires, and also with loss of property and lives, even if in a much lesser scale. Our forestal areas are very scarsely populated, and our homes aren’t made of wood, but stone and brick, which make them easier to defend in case of large forest fires. Still, we here know very well what the australians are going through, and our hearts are with them.

    The worst of it is a terrible sense of powerlessness. I remember feeling a huge need to do something for a whole week as a fire raged nearby, getting as close as some 10 km from my home. But there was nothing I could do. There was precious little the firemen themselves could do, under those circumstances. And now, there’s even less. All I can do is send to Australia my heartfelt solidarity. And a certainty: you will get over it. Memories will remain, but life will go on. It did here, even for the people who lost everything.

  16. Francis says

    Tremendous love and empathy to all of our southern relatives. Queensland, the rest of the country and it would appear, the rest of the world are all thinking of you.

  17. Baz says

    It’s just a shame third world natural disasters will never get the same coverage as first world English speaking countries…

  18. J. J. Kearney says

    I am so sorry to read and hear of the devastating bush fires in Victoria. I am currently watching images of the fires on Irish TV News, words fail me.
    I have visited your country on three occasions and I feel real pain as I see the devastation.

    I would ask all rural households to consider building underground concrete bunkers as a means of escape from such fires in future, also where there are small communities that they and the authorities could pool resources for such communities to have bunk ers as a means of escape. ( May God Bless You All)

  19. David says

    Hi Trippy and all, I too live in Dunedin, and all saterday we got this cool abmer light from the smoke haze.

    I wonder, did aussie pay the carbon credits for this fire?
    Did they get permission to export this smoke?
    Great to finally see the pics from the sky.
    Bush fires are part of nature, even if lit deliberatly, the lesson may be dont live there.
    As aussi went to the gulf war and took part in the massacers there it seems only just to see they get some back.

  20. Troy says

    David feb 09, I’m also a rpoud Kiwi but to see the coment you have put on this site is not only the comments from a faceless person but the comments of a coward. I only hope that your life doesn’t turn to misery, becuase you sound like the type of person who will be the first to ask for help…..finally I have good friends who have been directlt effected by this tragic event…..I would like to meet you for a coffee, tough guy.

  21. Insensitive and inflammatory comments have been deleted.

  22. Troy says

    The devastation of what has happened is bad enough and to have comments made by a person with their own political agenda is sickening…thank you Nancy for deleting those cooments made by such insensitive people.

  23. Marcy says

    As a resident of southern California, I can relate (on a much smaller scale) to living in an area subject to seasonal fires. I had to evacuate last year ahead of the Sesnon Fire. My heart goes out to all those affected, directly or indirectly. I’ve been busy emailing pictures and links of this continuing disaster along with a plea for aid to the Australian Red Cross, to everyone in my address book. It is shocking how few people here in the USA are aware of just how devastating this firestorm was and is. Some friends of mine didn’t even know about it. Others thought it was just a “regular fire.” Wouldn’t be a bad idea for other folks to jump on the grass-roots bandwagon and start emailing – especially since this isn’t a matter of ‘over there’ or ‘here at home.’ It’s all just US, together. Lend a hand if you can.

  24. ben roberts says

    death toll is now 173. fires are showing no sign of slowing and the wind is still strong and picking up. should they find the people responsible for lighting some of these fires, the only fitting punishment is to throw them into the flames. rehabilatation is not an option for people like this. at least terrorists do what they do for a cause. arsonists are just brainless bastards who destroy lives and whole towns because they can’t get it up.

  25. Sonya says

    Its terrible. I know a co worker of mine has around 3 friends and a few cousins that live in the areas affected, she cant get any information about them, even from the hotline set up.

    Whats really bad is the fact that yeah these guys are burning and the Far North end of Queensland is flooding. Not quite 2/3 but a few coastal towns from Cairns through to Townsville and a little inland, with them getting more rain on the way and another heatwave expected to hit Western Australia this week, plus the fires are not contained in Voctoria and the wind is due to pick uo to around 40km today.

    Its terrible whats been going on but it is what Ausralia is

    The Poem by Dorothea Mackellar sums it up pretty much what it is like to live in Australia

    My Country
    The love of field and coppice,
    Of green and shaded lanes.
    Of ordered woods and gardens
    Is running in your veins,
    Strong love of grey-blue distance
    Brown streams and soft dim skies
    I know but cannot share it,
    My love is otherwise.

    I love a sunburnt country,
    A land of sweeping plains,
    Of ragged mountain ranges,
    Of droughts and flooding rains.
    I love her far horizons,
    I love her jewel-sea,
    Her beauty and her terror –
    The wide brown land for me!

    A stark white ring-barked forest
    All tragic to the moon,
    The sapphire-misted mountains,
    The hot gold hush of noon.
    Green tangle of the brushes,
    Where lithe lianas coil,
    And orchids deck the tree-tops
    And ferns the warm dark soil.

    Core of my heart, my country!
    Her pitiless blue sky,
    When sick at heart, around us,
    We see the cattle die-
    But then the grey clouds gather,
    And we can bless again
    The drumming of an army,
    The steady, soaking rain.

    Core of my heart, my country!
    Land of the Rainbow Gold,
    For flood and fire and famine,
    She pays us back threefold-
    Over the thirsty paddocks,
    Watch, after many days,
    The filmy veil of greenness
    That thickens as we gaze.

    An opal-hearted country,
    A wilful, lavish land-
    All you who have not loved her,
    You will not understand-
    Though earth holds many splendours,
    Wherever I may die,
    I know to what brown country
    My homing thoughts will fly.

  26. Astrofiend says

    Apologies for language used in previous post Nancy. It was a little over the top upon reflection.

  27. Kirsty Jones says

    Fires have just flared up again thanks to strong winds. Several towns now under direct threat.

  28. Mr.Obvious says

    Why aren’t you complaining about this article? It is the year of Astronomy for the whole world… not just this country!!!

    Let us all know when you get it.

  29. Salacious B. Crumb says

    Only a REAL COWARD would start taking cheap shots at people under a headline that underlines that so many have lost their lives or are injured, or have destroy homes.

    Where is your decency or manners?

    Really pretty sick if you ask me.

    Get some help, mate – you sound like you need it.

  30. greg giles says

    This is totally insane after friends and family losing property in the Boolarra fire the week before some crazed idiot has done it again and killed 21 people in my area alone. Myself and my partner Marg travelled to Melbourne last saturday to visit her cousin Chris only to find she had lost 2 friends in the fire n/e of Melbourne , were still waiting to see the names of those killed in our area. As one victim has quoted whoever did this should be made to remove the charred remains of the victims . at the time of writing this the death toll was 181 and rising

  31. Doreen Neilley says

    Having lived in Australia (Canada last 11 years) and experienced bushfires, although nothing on this scale, I totally agree with Greg’s comment that the arsonists should have to help remove the charred bodies. If they find them (the arsonists) too late for that, I’m sure there are fire departments that could arrange for them to have to go through the tests that firefighters do, staying inside a controlled burn building, and someone could burn a dead pig that they would have to stand inside a sealed room with for several hours. These people are just SICK! Jail, even for the rest of their lives, is not enough. There is no rehabilitation possible for someone who would start a fire in Australia, and especially not after 12 years of drought.

  32. Wayne says

    To start off, first of all my heart goes out to all the victims, I know what its like to have a house go up in flames but this…this makes my troubles fade to nothing.

    There isn’t enough room here to voice everything that I have to say but there are some factors that I’d like to point out. Why hasn’t the army deployed troops to prevent Looter’s, if those bastard’s knew that there was a 24/7 watch over the area’s concerned they may think twice….armed soldiers with I.R specs; we owe these people/victims respect & dignity & their property should be protected!

    Personally, my views on Looter’s are simple: Shoot The Bastards!

    My other point is, why is it that the bounty is still only $100,000 dollars…make it something that will make “so-called friends” turn & dob in these fire-bugs, like $1 Million?!

    If anyone knows anything please tell the Police or CFA; prevent more misery & speak up!

    As for the Fire-bugs concerned, you will get caught, & then you it will be your turn to suffer!

  33. robbi says

    Wayne, this Austrailian disaster was of a scale not though possible or will be of such a tragic nature. The wide fronts of the fires, and the ‘heat tornadoes’ caused the fires to jump miles ahead of the main fire fronts trapping many people-the thinking and the logistics to send troops was not at first on peoples minds but to get as many people out of harms way. When the smoke clears and studies are made for future disasters, I’m certain the governments will be far better prepared to send troops and prevent bedlam on the affected areas. In the US, it took many disasters and years of planning,research to figure out what to do in case of future disasters, still, human nature and the elements makes such planning and action an inexact art and science, and people will still get killed and chaos will rein for some time until order is restored.
    As far as what I would do if I got a-hold of these firebugs-I will not mention as it will be far too harsh and of a nature not suitable to mention for this site.

  34. Jay. D says

    Death toll still 183, The police have arrested 2 people on charges of arson. another fire has just been lit at Studley Park in Ivanhoe (which is my home) If these fire bugs dont get hung by the nuts by the cops, im sure the public will take it into their own hands.

  35. robbi says

    Jay. D Says- your way to punish these firebugs is still too lenient. I’ve knowed relatives and childhood friends who moved to Southern California only to be burned out of their homes and memories by firebugs-about 300 homes were destroyed. When the firebugs were caught, people who was burned out got wind of where they were and where the cops were going to send them to.
    The people burned out were there to greet them, and there was thoughts of torturing, curcifying, and a slow death to these firebugs, it took many cops from other areas to control what became mob mentality, but, I could not blame them for their actions.

  36. Wayne says

    G-day Robbi,
    I think you may have missed my point of putting troops on the ground?

    They should have put troops up in the affected areas on the Monday, after the towns had been destroyed to boost law enforcement, ie: prevent looters, these low-life scumbags are nothing more then vultures; it brings only more pain to the victims & their families, besides if troops aren’t OS, then all they do is train, why not use these troops & put all that training to a noble cause?

    When it comes down to it, they defend this country & the people, so why not boost the numbers to assist the police in helping keep the peace & prevent theft?! I know that nobody could tell which way the wind was going to come from, it can change so quickly, so I’m not saying that the army can just jump to it at a moments notice but they should have had MP’s+grunts patrolling 24/7 to protect property/life & prevent theft.

    The fires that engulfed parts of Vic & NSW 2 yrs ago was bad, burnt out parts of Canberra; Sydney has also had its share of fires since 93, huge loss of homes but this is the worst that anyone living has seen!

    But to all those down there doing the various tasks required of them, you’re doing a grand job, don’t ever think that others don’t feel for you & for the victims of this horror….my heart goes out to you all, as does my family.

    I do have some good news though, at 11pm eastern aus time, the tally for $$ donated stood at just under $75 Million; this will rise even higher I know, the kindness of stranger’s isn’t just grand or over-whelming…..its Fair Dinkum!

    What I have seen tonight has been fantastic, Australia has had donations from all over the world, from every-day people to corporations; so a big G-day & thank to all, & to all for the prayers & thoughts, thank you.

    What upsets me & a lot of Australians is, we wish we could do more for them 🙁

    Thanks for the heads up Jay-D, last time I heard the news (6pm) it was still at 181 but when they get to the end of the searching, they say it might be as high as 300?!

    Speaking of 300, I’d like to go Spartan on the bastards who started these fires, true not all were started by human hand but as far as I know most were….BASTARDS!

    By saying that I mean no disrespect nor was it meant to be comical, just “when” they catch these arseholes (pardon me) they should be treated with the upmost contempt; I feel sorry for their families as they will sadly feel the shame of their crime as well as the anger of the victims/public.

    You can’t blame all for the actions of one, so I hope that cool reserve & better judgement will prevail & that the family of these fire-bugs will be spared all the drama that follows; they are victims of his actions as well.

    As for the 2 men that the police had earlier, they let them go as they had no reason to hold them, they weren’t the ones that they wanted but they did release an I.D sketch late tonight of someone they do want in relation to a fire that was started just on the outskirts of Melbourne…..fingers X people!

    Just one last thing, I do live in the bush, my family knows the pain only too well having lost 2 homes to fire, 65 & 06; I have also served for a time both in the army & in the SES as well as the RFS, so I understand the pain that these poor bugger’s are going through & have yet to go through…..just pray that the police catch these bastards ASAP!!!

    Lastly, a Big Hi-5 to all in the USA, Canada & the UK, your thoughts & prays do mean a lot to us, victims or non victims.

  37. robbi says

    Wayne=I agree on your statements troops should’ve been used to boost law enforcement, my thinking was about the logistics and where their bases are. It is very unfortunate a disaster of such proportions will make the regional and other governments
    communicate far better with armed forces to be on the ready in the event of future disasters. You and I are certain there was local governments who dropped the ball in asking help from the Australian government to send armed troops. I know the pain of
    people losting their homes and memories from fires in California, it was generally luck
    that the death toll from fires in California did not as yet have the death toll the tragic fires
    had in Austrailia. I think you read what I would do with these firebugs, as what my relavtives and others were thinking about doing to them.

  38. ML says

    Make these firebugs pay!, Make them clean up the carnage of not only lives and what people have lost, but also the wildlife and cattle killed and mamed through this holocaust. Get the pyro’s out of prisons and the up-coming pyros that are too young to be prosecuted and give them a taste of reality, there will always be a problem but we really should start somewhere…..I truly feel for all that have suffered through these terrible times….

  39. Andrew says

    I thought that the fires in Greece last year were pretty dramatic viewed by Satellite and the loss of life atrocious but these fires are seemingly just as bad if not worse. Many more people dying in Australia. My prayers and thoughts to all the victims and families suffering from this calamity.

  40. Wayne says

    G-day All,

    Well, we have been getting more & more donations from all walks of life round the world, thanks again to all of you. Yes Robbie, the fires in california were bad, you poor buggers have copped more then your fair share as well, the last few yrs haven’t been kind to anyone weather-wise?!

    But how ironic it is down here, we have the worst fires in Australian history down south & yet we bake in the middle, while Nth QLD is in flood…….oh, & petrol is going up again (suckville).

    The past week has been nothing much but about the one issue, the fires in Victoria; they have caught one bloke from the Gippsland area but just as I feared his family & a ex-GF have come under attack from the dicks-R-us crowd, some of the locals put this slugs pic up on face-book, the vic Gov banned his pic being posted & threatened to charge anyone posting pics of him; after what he has done……WGAF!

    This bloke in question is just one of at least 3 or more fire-bugs out there, with any luck someone might get a bit drunk & talk….fingers X???

    We had fires here in NSW, they caught one bloke down near Kempsey, he made bail in the last week but then was caught at it again in the past 48hrs; the judge that gave him bail should answer some hard questions!

    The death toll so far stands at 189 confirmed, one small town is still closed off as the police are still searching for bodies; the bush has still to be combed for any victims yet as well.

    Most things might be back to normal by the end of the year but for the people it will take years before they can say that they are anything close to normal…..whats that?!

    But the huge amount of kindness by strangers, & by that I mean OS, even in these dark economic times people have dug deep, & not just in money terms either.

    Your thoughts, gifts & prayers do mean a lot to those affected but it also shows that Australia does have good friends abroad; we shall not forget!

    So fair weather & a safe journey to all.

  41. Chris says

    Unfortunately the latest death toll has risen to 200. Our hearts go out to all affected.

  42. Jay Fleming says

    It sickens me to see that there are sensless idiots out there who seem to have nothing better to do than cause pain and misery for those around them.

    Reports of a man in his late teens early twentys who before the worst fires were lit, rang 000 (Australia’s Emergency Number) saying that there were bushfires and got off seeing firefighters seacrching for a fire that didnt exist, only then to light several fires in the area he lived in, only to get an extra thrill.

    Shoot the bastard in both knee caps and give him a water pistol filled with air andput him on the front lines by himself. A huge devistating waste of life. My deepest sympathy and love goes to the victims of the fires. May God rest the souls of the deceased and bring peace to those who are suffering.

    Maybe now the Victorian Government will follow South Australia’s example and put legislation in place stating that land must be kept clear of heavy scrub and grass in a 20m radius of all houses. This wont stop all houses being destroyed in the case of a fire, but it will save a lot of lives in the future.

  43. gloria says


  44. gloria says




  45. Tom Osburg says

    These are really interesting images. I live at Millgrove which is just on the edge of the fire areas. Those clouds in the early images completely darkened the sky here. I was wondering if you could make the images around Millgrove at a higher resolution?

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