In memoriam: the victims of the 2009 bushfires in Victoria

February 7, 2012

The bush fire season has started again.

This is a good opportunity for reminiscing about the devastating bush fires exactly threes ago which claimed so many lives and caused severe damage to property in Victoria.

Today, services and commemorations will be held in quite a few places.

When you drive through the area where the fires wrecked havoc very little can be seen. After a fire gum trees are reinvigorated and new underground growth is visible everywhere.

I cut quite a few 3 to 5 m tall young trees during the Christmas vacation to make room for other vegetation. We were lucky and did not suffer any serious damage. We put in new boundary fences. Our neighbours have replaced the burned down sheds with new ones.

But not everybody has rebuilt, not everybody has returned. Many rural communities are still in shambles and suffering (Kinglake for instance).

The scars in peoples minds and souls are not visible either. But many are still suffering the terrible personal losses of loved ones.

I salute all of them, the ones who rebuilt and the ones who went elsewhere.