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I woke up this morning ( the 7th of November)  at 9:00 am, to find myself hot, sticky and sweaty, and I thought this is unusual weather for Horsham Victoria. I got out of bed and as soon as I stood up I immediately felt faint, so I dragged myself into the dining kitchen to quench my thirst and dry throat. I sat my self at the dining table and gulped down the refreshing ice-cold water. I soon felt much better, but still extremely hot so I ran to turn the air conditioning on. Next I walked into my parents, not only to find their bed made and them in no sight, but there was also a note. It says “hi Rach, I’m sure you have noticed the extremely dry and hot weather, and it brings an extreme bushfire warning to our home. So we’ve gone to get supplies. Wake up your sister and both of you pack a bag with all of your valuables, we are evacuating. “After reading this note I was extremely scared and worried, worried about all my friends and their family and weather they have evacuated .I run to my sisters room, “WAKE UP”!!!! I scream “there’s a bushfire on its way! we’re going to die!!!” . I know that maybe was a bit dramatic, but what can I do we might die if we don’t get out of here.

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the morning of the 7th November 2009, the start of Black Saturday.

Source: http://www.blacksaturdaybushfires.com.au/pictures/black-saturday-bushfires-satellite-image-3/

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An hour after I read the note my parents arrived home, they seemed extremely stressed and worried as they burst through the door and knocked over the suitcases that Rebecca and I had packed the hour before. The door slammed fiercely from the strong wind and my dog Ollie started barking and ran over in excitement to see them, but he had no idea what was going on. My mum ran into the lounge room and turned on the TV to the news channel.

“extreme temperatures in victoria; 46 degrees Celsius with winds in excess of 100km perhour. Due to this Severe bushfires have hit east Kilmore and are spreading rapidly towards other communities, such as Kinglake and Horsham at a speed of 600m per 30 seconds  if you live in these areas evacuate as soon as possible”. My mum switched off the TV and screamed “ pack the car” were leaving now”. Hearing my mum say this made everything sink in; that we’ll be leaving everything behind, my home, my friends, my school and my whole childhood, and possibly when we get back it will all be gone. As we packed the car the wind picked up and we could hear screaming.” Helllpppp!!!!!” a lady screamed, we turned around and we saw the fire approaching, and we saw our palm tree catch on fire and was lighting the house

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The total area consumed by the bushfires was 1,100,000 acres.

Source: http://www.blacksaturdaybushfires.com.au/black-saturday-bushfires-map/

Uncontrollable lames at Bunyip State Forrest, Victoria on the 7thFebruary 2009

Source: http://www.blacksaturdaybushfires.com.au/pictures/black-saturday-bushfires-fire-truck/Image

We quickly shut the boot and jumped into the car. By the time we were at the top of the driveway we noticed that we forgot Ollie. I ran out of the Car and Mum screams “No Rachel we don’t have enough time” but I ignored her. I stormed into the steam filled house and immediately started coughing. “OLLIE” I shouted and then I saw him, by the kitchen lying there. I ran to him, picked him up and sprinted out of the house. Finally we were on our way, even though we have no idea where we are going as the whole of victoria is close to on fire. As we drove down the distraught neighbourhood I looked out of the back window and said one last goodbye to my home, which was now burning in flames along with all the other houses. I switched on the radio again to the news report “ it has now hit Horsham and for some it is too late, the fires are spreading uncontrollably, for those who have gotten out head to the Horsham city hall. Here there will be accommodation for those who need it.” Image

smoke fills the air in the Kinglake area

source: http://www.blacksaturdaybushfires.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Black-Saturday-Bushfire.jpg

It’s been 6 weeks since the fires first started, and also since I did my last blog entry. This is because I haven’t had any source of technology to create an entry, and because I have been incredibly busy helping with first aid and collecting supplies. I have made some new friends while I have been staying here and I am starting to get used to live here. Although every day I cant help thinking when I can go home to my old life.

I woke up one morning to hear everybody laughing and screaming, I open my eyes and everybody is smiling and jumping around enjoy. I sit up out of my sleeping bag confused and ask my mum what’s going on. “ The fires, their over, were going home!!!”. I immediately stood up and a tear welled open my eye. I picked up my dog and gave him a massive hug. We made it, I thought, were going home! As soon as I heard this news I ran over to my suitcase and packed up all my things in excitement.Image

raging bushfires approaching Victorian Caravan Park.

Source: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/pictures/gallery-e6frf94x-1225899622293?page=12

As we are on our way home I’m looking out the window, my whole family almost in tears at how devastating everything is. Pretty much every single house has been burnt down to the ground. There are injured people and animals everywhere, all of them covered in horrific burns. Finally we reached where our house used to be. Its destroyed, the only thing left is the living room standing in all the ash. I wasn’t expecting the damage to be this bad. All over victoria at least 210 people have been killed and hundreds are still missing. Over 6000 structures and houses were burnt to the ground including my own and thousands were damaged. Because the fires hit most of Victorias Bushland more than a million of Victoria’s natural wildlife were killed, and they say it will take over 50 years for the animals to recover from the fires.it is estimated that the fire caused over $1 billion worth of damages.  The news says It is estimated the energy released by the Black Saturday Bushfires, was the equivalent of 1,500 Hiroshima atomic bombs They called that dreading 5 weeks “Black Saturday

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My destroyed house after black Saturday, and only the living room standing

Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2009-02-08/forensic-police-sift-through-a-burnt-out-house/1323770

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Local firefighter feeding a thirsty, injured Koala.

Source: http://advocacy.britannica.com/blog/advocacy/2009/11/the-australian-%E2%80%9Cblack-saturday%E2%80%9D-bushfires-of-2009/

It’s been 3 months since we arrive home after the fire. Victoria is rebuilding and slowly being put back together. Our house is in the progress of being rebuilt, we are lucky that everything is insured. The whole community is contributing to the vetinary hospital to have a recovery facility for the animals and everyone is helping out. For the people who cant afford to rebuild because they have lost many generous families have accommodated their jobs, and in time the communities which were affected hopefully brand new and this time fire proof.

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1 year after the black Saturday bushfires a rebuilt house.

Source: http://diamond-valley-leader.whereilive.com.au/news/story/she-beat-fire-rebuilt-but-only-had-six-weeks-home/