Death toll rises more than 100

by Priyo Australia | February 7, 2009 9:27 pm

AUSTRALIA has witnessed its greatest natural disaster. Worse than Black Friday. Worse than Ash Wednesday[1]. Only in wartime has the toll of dead and wounded been greater.

At 7.35am today the official death toll was 108, with at least 750 homes destroyed – 550 of those in Kinglake[2], north of Melbourne, and surrounding areas.

According to police figures, another 11 people were found dead at Kinglake West, north of Melbourne, taking that community’s toll to 20, while another four bodies were found at Marysville[3] taking that town’s toll to eight.


Bushfire Hotline – 1800 240 667

Family Help Hotline – 1800 727 077

SES – 132 500

CFA website –[4]


February 8, 2009 – 9:30AM

More than 40 people are feared dead, including six people in one car, as blazes continue to ravage Victoria with more than 100,000 hectares affected.

Thirty-five people are confirmed dead and the toll is expected to rise after the worst bushfires in Victoria since Ash Wednesday.

Latest updates from the Country Fire Authority

Police have confirmed that 12 people were killed in fires at Kinglake, 57 kms north-east of Melbourne, and Kinglake west, four in Wandong, 70 kms north of the city and four in St Andrews. A further three people died Humevale, one in Bendigo and one in Arthurs Creek, 45 kms north-east of Melbourne.

Authorities began the grim search for bodies this morning following Saturday’s devastating bushfires.

Most of the confirmed deaths were in towns northwest of Melbourne including at Kinglake where six people were killed in one car.

The CFA expects that hundreds of homes have been destroyed. Among the properties destroyed were the Marysville and Kinglake police stations.

Police said they did not know if the age of those killed in the fires but it was expected that some children were among the dead.

Seven major blazes continue to threaten communities with fires raging out of control in Bunyip, Churchill, Kilmore East, Beechworth, Horsham, Marysville and Weerite.

The town of Glenburn northwest of Melbourne has been placed on alert with the Kilmore bushfire encroaching on the area.

More than 30,000 hectares have been destroyed in the Kilmore fire where 500 firefighters are working to contain the blaze which is spotting towards the town of Kinglake west where six people have already perished.

The Country Fire Authority said the Kilmore fire had moved towards the Glenburn area, in particular Glenburn and settlements to the north and north east along the Melba Highway and Yea River Valley towards Murrindindi.

The CFA has urged residents to decide now if they will go or stay.

“There is now active fire around the Glenburn area and residents can expect thick smoke and ember attack. All residents in these areas are advised to activate their fire plans immediately and to remain on high alert,” the CFA said.

“Residents cannot rely on fire-fighting resources being able to get to their property.

“It is very dangerous to leave late with a fire in the area.

“Residents in this area may experience smoke and burning embers reaching their properties, and are advised to patrol their houses to find and put out any burning embers that may be landing.”

Meanwhile, the threat from a bushfire burning in the Beechworth area in northeastern Victoria has eased, but authorities are urging residents in the region to remain alert.

The fire is burning in a south easterly direction and is estimated to be more than 20,000 hectares in size.

The that fire activity had decreased allowing crews to make good progress on control lines.

“The communities of Bruarong, Glen Creek, Dederang, Running Creek, Myrtleford, Ovens, Barwidgee Creek are no longer under direct threat from this fire, but still need to remain alert due to a high level of fire activity still in the area,” the CFA said.

“These communities may come under new attack tomorrow as weather conditions worsen.”

Stanley, Mudgeegonga, Rosewhite, Kancoona and Kancoona South remain under threat with CFA strike-teams continuing to work on
asset protection.

A recent wind change had begun pushing a fire at Bunyip Ridge, north of Drouin, in a north-easterly direction towards the towns of Labertouche, Tarago, Jindivick West, Jindivick North, Neerim South, Neerim East, Neerim North, Whites Corner, Noogee, Tonimbuk and Robin Hood.

Firefighers have managed to control a fire in Coleraine that burnt nearly 1000 hectares.

with AAP | original source[5]

  1. Ash Wednesday:
  2. 550 of those in Kinglake:
  3. Marysville:
  5. original source:

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