Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Victorian disaster

Serious post time...

I know most of the readers of this little blog are based in Europe but I'm sure that, at least through the bloodline of many of your animals, you know know a fair number of Australian breeders.

Many of them, some large and well known, most small, are in Victoria, in the middle of the worst bushfire that we've seen here.

At the time of writing this, there have been 173 confirmed fatalities and there are still 25 fires that haven't been controlled. Property, land and stock loss will be catastrophic. There are already stories hitting the newswires about small alpaca breeders who have lost some of their herds or pets.

Of the well known studs I know that Flowerdale and Canchones are OK at the moment but are still facing a threat. I've just heard that Jigaru are OK.

For those of you in Europe that use Mariah Hill, the Bunyip state park fire is close and property in the area has been lost. I understand that so far, they're OK but smoke will be a problem for them.

Coordinated efforts to help are being set up by breeders around the country offering shelter and food for animals and families.

You can follow the news at the ABC here

There's a live map of current fire areas here

And the Australian Alpaca Asn is posting offers of help and updates here

Our thoughts go out to those who have been affected and to those (mostly volunteers, including our own South Australian Alpaca Association president) who are fighting the fires.


  1. I have been very concerned about people and pacas, whilst some in the UK are struggling with snow at least they can snuggle up and hide, fire doesn't give you that option.

    It is terrible, we have seen coverage of the fires and its consequence on the tv here and out thoughts go out to all those effected. I can't believe they think that some are the work of arsonists.

  2. Hang in there Perry we have been thinking of you guys and watching with horror the news reports.

  3. Hi Mark,

    Thanks for the thoughts we're fine here in South Australia at the moment. It's over the border in Victoria where people are going through hell.

    Flowerdale had a lucky escape - there is news footage on the TV of 70 alpacas there sheltering from the flames in their dam.
    Weather forecast has a change in wind direction tonight - that's bad news, especially if it results in some of the bigger fires joining up.

    It's heartening to see the way that the Alpaca community here is joining together to offer help. Sarah is helping to coordinate the South Australian effort - it's quite moving to see the flow of offers - feed, shelter and agistment for animals, places to stay, transport clothes and toys for families that are dropping into the inbox.

  4. I have thought alot about the horror in Australia, It dosen't bear thinking about, its too traumatic, there are lots of people, with and without livestock who cringe at the thought of what you have been faced with, I do hope that there is a swift end to this disaster. Lets hope that mother nature helps with the control of this nightmare.
    Disasters like this, just make you realise, just how insignificant we are against the destructive power of fire. Its hard to believe that other humans, could risk so much by such a stupid act. As we have had reports in UK that this might be an act of arsen!!.....you just can't understand the mentality of the people responsible for this.
    Our thoughts are with you all.....Jayne

  5. We've been following the coverage absolutely shocked at such a horrendous experience for everyone, normal families, alpaca breeders, sheep farmers whoever.... It looked the scariest thing imaginable. I was very moved by the offers of help that were flowing in on the AAA website - it seems that the alpaca community is a very caring one, a big worldwide family that looks after each other. Good to know.