They tell me about the family funerals - a couple and their unborn child, another couple and their two young children; about unreleased bodies still waiting to be identified to the coroner's satisfaction; about angry, dislocated families still waiting to go home, to at least scrounge through the rubble for anything that might not have been burnt beyond recognition; they tell me about emergency housing set up; about donations and overwhelming generosity; about text message warnings being sent to all mobile phones on hot days; about how those remaining have removed their most valuable possessions from their home; about how they are tired of evacuating; about the forgotten victims; about the tragic wildlife losses; about new building regulations for fire-risk areas; about the high anxiety levels and kids sleeping on mattresses in their parents- bedrooms; about the re-building of shattered lives and the massive clean-up; and now finally, about the cooler temperatures and the rain that has soaked the burnt-out land.
Victoria is a very different place to what it was just three months ago when we left.
ABC - The Human Side of the Bushfire Disaster
Wildlife Victoria - they need our help more than ever
Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife - just AUD 15,000 donated compared to the millions donated to families.