Today is the anniversary of Ash Wednesday in 1983. Before last weekend's fires in Victoria, Ash Wednesday was the worst bushfire in white Australian history. 75 people died that day.
The body count for the Victorian fires is now up to 189 and counting. The forensics people say not all the bodies will be found or identifiable.
Fire fighters have been sent from New Zealand (ta very much) and America (thank yer Uncle Sam) and a forensics team with experience from the Bali bombings has been sent from Indonesia (terima kasih, hope I got that right).
One of the Victorian arsonists has been charged. They found kiddie porn at his place as well as getting him for arson. His solicitor (lawyer) said protective cutody is not impregnable and might not be a safe enough place to put him. Tough shit.
And another kind of gutless bastards nicked bushfire donations.
All week we've watched the footage on TV, the blackened hills and piles of ash at the ends of driveways, tangles of burnt-out cars on the roads, hundreds of homeless people crowded into tent cities.
But the scale of the disaster is hard to grasp. So much destruction, so many people dead. The single thing that brings home the size of the bastard, to me, is the amount of money donated: $90 million.
Donate blood for survivors with burns online at donateblood.com.au or ring 13 14 95.
National day of mourning
Next Sunday, 22nd of February.
* Said by the PM last weekend, that time he had a little cry in the interview.