One of the beer bloggers I enjoy following, Beer Blokes, is dealing with the aftermath of the Victorian bush fires. He and his family are safe, but the scope of the impact hit me when he wrote,
"At least 650 homes have been razed and 3733 people have registered with the Red Cross after evacuating their properties."
Bushfires are common in Victoria this time of year, but to comprehend the scale of this event you really need a bird's eye view. Three years ago, the bushfire season was one of the worst on record. They grew so large the smoke could easily be seen from satellites and was even impacting New Zealand which can be seen here just east of Victoria.
Then came the 2009 season:
Not sure how much of what you see in that photograph is smoke and how much is clouds, but I think it is clear that this does dwarf the 2006 event.
Currently there doesn't seem to be a place for us Yanks to make any donations to help. If anyone has a suggestions for donations or fund-raising I'd like to hear them.
UPDATE: 2/13/2009- In the comments, prof. Pilsner of Beer Blokes provided a link to the Aussie Red Cross. I have added the link in the sidebar. Don't be put off by the (AU) dollars, they took my Yankee credit card just fine.