Billy B. Martin, co-owner of Houston-based Let’s Travel Together, and an Aussie Specialist, shares with Travel Agent a letter he received from Janine Duffy, the director of marketing for Echidna Walkabout, a tour company in Victoria, Australia.
You'll be pleased to hear that the bushfire situation in Melbourne has eased. Cooler temperatures have made firefighting easier and, though five fires are still burning, they are not traveling at the speed they did on the weekend of 7th and 8th February. Hopefully they will be under control soon.
Our tours are still not affected because there have been no serious fires so far on the western side of Melbourne, or in East Gippsland.
The five fires still burning are north-east (Kilmore - Murrindindi North & South), and south-east of Melbourne (Bunyip), in South Gippsland (Churchill) and on Wilsons Promontory. If you need more information about these fires go to: http://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/incidents/incident_updates.htm#1477610363337
There is a statewide overview map there that is updated regularly, and it shows the areas that have been burnt. Most of these fires are not considered a threat to houses, people or private property. Most are contained - which means that they have been encircled by fire-breaks and are being actively fought from these containment lines. It is the first, important step in getting these fires under control.
Our beautiful wildlife has become a symbol of these fires. There is a Bushfire Appeal raising money specifically for wildlife - http://www.wildlifevictoria.org.au/cms/index.php This is a very reputable organization that distributes medical supplies and reimburses costs incurred by volunteer wildlife careers all around the state.
Thank you for your thoughts over the last two weeks. It means a lot.
Janine & Roger and all the team at Echidna - Melinda, Alison, Tim, Bill, Mary, Paul, Jo and Martin