Our State of Victoria is caught up in the worst round of bush fires in our history. Over 200 people have died as a result of the fires and over 1850 homes have been destroyed.
This is a tragic situation and it is so sad to think that a number of the fires may have been the work of arsonists.
Scorching heat has not helped. Melbourne had a record high of 46.4 degrees Celsius - that's over 115 degrees Fahrenheit.
What can we do?
- Pray for those who have lost loved ones because of the fires. This is an incredible time of grief, sorrow, and even anger, for many people. It will not be easy for them to rebuild their lives after such horrendous loss. Pray for God's grace and comfort. Pray for the fire-fighters and emergency services as they continue to try to get multiple bush fires under control around the state. Pray for more rain and for favorable weather conditions.
- Where possible, offer emotional support and practical help to any families or neighbours directly affected by the fires.
- Consider making a financial donation. The federal government has set up a $10 million dollar bush fire relief fund but more will be needed. Donations to the Victorian Bushfire Relief Fund can be made at any NAB branch or via internet banking. BSB: 082-001. Account number: 860 046 797. Victoria Police have urged those wishing to donate not to tie up 000 and other emergency hot-lines and instead to call the Red Cross Information Line on 1800 727 077. You can also donate online at www.redcross.org.au, by phoning 1800 811 700, or at any Bunnings store.
- Send a note of encouragement to the fire fighters by clicking here.
- Donate blood. Extra blood is especially important for burns victims who are receiving treatment in hospital. Appointments can be made by calling the Red Cross on 13 14 95.
Concerned about loved ones? Call 1800 727 077. The bushfire hot-line number is: 1800 240 667.