As you are doubtless aware, there have been incredibly ferocious bushfires in Victoria this weekend. Amongst other places, the townships of Marysville, Kinglake, Kinglake West and St Andrews have been wiped out. My sister lost her home an all possessions between St Andrews and Kinglake – and I know of others that have lost everything. There are also other people who live in the area that have not been able to be contacted. Marysville apparently has one building remaining. I’m unsure about the extent of damage to Kinglake and St Andrews, but after speaking to my sister who is still trapped in the township of Kinglake, they are “gone”.
Vast areas of the Kinglake National Park and the Bunyip State Park have been devastated – presumably along with the wildlife, including birds, of those areas. I am currently unsure of the situation at Yellingbo (with its remaining population of wild Helmeted Honeyeaters) – let’s just hope that the Bunyip fire and the Kinglake fire don’t join up.
Healesville Sanctuary is closed today, not surprisingly. Apparently, their collections of Orange-bellied Parrots, Helmeted Honeyeaters and endangered mammals have been loaded onto vans and trucks for transport to Melbourne Zoo today. The road from Melbourne to Healesville is still open, but beyond Healesville it is closed.
Authorities are asking that people do not visit the fire-affected areas at this time and to keep off the roads to allow essential services access.