Bushfires in Victoria

This item appears on page 21 of the April 2009 issue.

Whipped by winds and aided by high temperatures and a long drought, ferocious bushfires ravaged more than 1,200 square miles of Victoria state in southeast Australia in early February. More than 210 people died, 900 homes were destroyed and over 7,000 people ended up in shelters. Two towns, Kinglake and Marysville, were severely damaged.

Police investigating the fires have cited natural causes but also suspect arson, having arrested at least one suspect. At press time, fires were still burning.