The wind was always going to come and it came in the middle of the afternoon blowing fifty degrees of furnace in front of it and it headed towards the eucalypt-covered mountain and the mountain exploded.
The news coming down from the mountain is dreadful. There are plenty of ways out of the mountain but only one - the road to Whittlesea - that gives you up to four lanes of firebreak and even that isn't enough. There are reports some fleeing were turned back - up the mountain - before it exploded, because the fire at that earlier stage may have been thought to be threatening an area further down. This is unconfirmed but chilling in its implication.
The media are already calling this Black Saturday but to hell with the media and their glib labels. A politician muscled his way on-air mid-afternoon with a self-important message that was about as useful at that particular juncture as an ad for Frank Walker's National Tiles.
The family of the partner of William and Thomas's much older sister lives in Kinglake and surrounding areas. A sister and a brother lost their houses but they and their young children were unharmed; their parents' house was saved. They reported seeing cars burnt out along roads leading out of the area. These roads are only just this afternoon being entered and reopened by police and emergency workers. They are finding horrors beyond anyone's imagination.
There is an utterly chilling photograph at theaustralian.com showing four burnt cars jammed together on the edge of a road under a giant blackened gum tree, melded like creatures clasping each other for comfort in terror. They had obviously collided in the black horror that engulfed the mountain before it went up in flames; the black horror was smoke blacker than any night, removing any hope of vision for the occupants. This would have been accompanied by a deafening roar that would have destroyed any possibility of hearing another vehicle - even colliding. The drivers would have been driving deaf and blind and probably panic-stricken through a winding hell that led to nowhere.
Unimaginable. God rest their souls. The extent of this disaster may be apparent tomorrow. Fires are still burning.