My childrens' lives have been affected as some of their friends come from those areas - a teacher lives in Strathewan, where there is a really heavy death toll, but thankfully, his house and family have been saved, but many of his mates didn't make it. Out of a township of 150 - 30 have perished. Other friends of theirs have told the fire stopped at the end of their street!
The enormity of the tragedy that is unfolding is hard to envisage - I know it will take years for the communities to recover. I feel so helpless - the coming weeks and months ahead are going to be so difficult for so many people - communities will need to be rebuilt - schools and homes - we are all going to be needed in some way.
Just going down to the local supermarket this afternoon, meeting friends and the stories of what people have been through is horrendous.
We can't do much on our own, and the Red Cross organisation and others like it are doing a wonderful job. I am cooking meals for people and taking them to where there are extra people staying in the area. It's not much - but it might help.
And in the blogging world there are so many out there already doing their bit. Here are a few of them Grandy & Baa, Beyond Pink & Blue, and Curly Pops has a big list on her blog on where you can help. And Melly & Me have an auction of handmade goodness for you.