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Victorian bushfire crisis

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Here, in Australia, we are used to bushfires around this time of the year. However, this summer has been far from ordinary. A combination of drought, extremely hot weather and the murderous stupidity of arsonists have combined to create one of the worst disasters this nation has seen. One of our southern states - Victoria - is currently battling bushfires that have so far claimed over 180 lives. Firefighters fear that number could exceed 300 when this is all over. Disaster experts with experience working on the Bali bombings have arrived in Victoria from other states to search more than 700 destroyed homes for human remains. Doctors in burns wards say this is worse than the Bali bombings. Today, there are over 4,000 firefighters from around the country joining the exhausted Victorian firefighters fighting more than 20 blazes that have burned over 330,000 hectares of land. Many firefighters are unpaid volunteers, leaving their own families and properties to help others. Even the Army has been called in to help with the effort. Entire towns have been burned to the ground. Marysville, with a population of 519 has lost at least 100 people, one-third of its population. Families have been torn apart. Two teenage girls died together in a paddock while trying to save their horses from the wall of fire approaching their property. One man lost both of his children. A woman lost her husband when they left their house at the same time in different cars to escape the inferno. She lived.Below is a link to youtube showing a firefighter giving water to a koala in burntout bushland. The poor girl received burns to each of her paws. Koala's normally don't drink water - they get their water from eucalyptus leaves that they eat. It shows just how desperate even our wildlife has been in this fire... you'd like to help, please go to the following link and make a donation. Anything, no matter how small, would be greatly appreciated. If the forum moderators could create a weblink at the top of each forum page so users could click on it to donate at the website link below, that would be greatly appreciated. you.Update: it is now 450,000 hectares of land burnt and 1,033 homes destroyed, death toll nudging 200 people dead.

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