All of the detail below is changing constantly, and sad to say
none of it seems to be good news at present
Victorian Bushfires.February 8 2009.
104 people are confirmed dead in Victoria's bushfires at the time of writing, it is expected this will rise much further as more areas are made accessible to search, this far surpassing the state's toll of 47 in the 1983 Ash Wednesday blazes, and the 71 death toll of the Black Friday fires in 1939.
Blazes continue to ravage the state with well over 312,000 hectares affected. At least 700 homes have been destroyed - 550 of those in Kinglake and surrounding areas.
The Kinglake complex fires north-east of Melbourne are now at least 80 kilometres wide and 220,000 hectares in size, after several fires merged. .
More than 70,000 hectares have been burnt in Gippsland, and last week's fire in the Delburn area has again raised its head.
The Red Cross has about 20 relief centres operating, with 3700 people now registered as evacuated.
Please click on the photos to enbiggen. (All photos have been sourced from the web)
These first two photos are of the lovely town of Yarra Glen, this is very close to where we lived at Dixons Creek way back in 1939 when the horrific Black Friday fires blazed all around us.
At night or when the smoke is thick enough to black out the daylight and the flames become much more visible the images become more graphic.
The devistation is visible in the background and also in the face of this survivor.
Very little was spared by the greedy flames, the chimneys are testament to a climate that at times is quite cold.
Families were not spared as these young people show, in many cases there has been deaths of parents or children which of course make the situation even harder to bear.
This was a scene repeated over and over, collisions caused by the dense smoke hiding the danger of other vehicles, trees, either still standing or as debris blocking roads.
Utter devastation everywhere you looked or pointed a camera.
I have travelled this road several times, its natural beauty now changed forever for the residents that survived the horror of Black Sunday.
Some of the debris which made roads impassable in heavy bush land.
The heartbreaking task of searching through burnt out houses and cars for the
bodies of those who didn't survive
Just one of many glimpses of the awesome power unleashed by a bushfire in full swing, the heat, and noise of rushing wind both have to be experienced to be believed.
Over many years the advice has been to stay in your car or your house if you haven't been able to escape in time, this advice didn't take into account the ferocity of the fires that engulfed huge areas of the state of Victoria on this weekend.
Stark reminders of the end of somebody's dreams, there are more than 700 such reminders in the fire affected areas.
Fire racing up a slope at a speed much faster than a running person or animal.
An almost ghostly figure seen here desperately trying to turn back a monster.
There are of course hundreds of burns victims as well as those overcome by smoke inhalation who need medical treatment.
Mopping up and ensuring no future flare ups is an important part of fire fighting.
Water bombing in otherwise inaccessible country is the only form of defence that can be used.
Depicting the incredible bravery of the men and women of the Country Fire Authority who battled the devastating fires that covered much of the state during the past week, and who are still hard at it trying desperately to mop up those blazes that are still burning.
As I said at the start of this post the details are changing constantly, the death toll is expected to keep rising for several days until the searching of burnt out ruins is completed, and until those who have been hospitalized are able to be declared out of danger.