The Australian Red Cross has launched a Victorian Bushfires 2009 - Appeal to assist individuals and communities affected by the devastating bush fires.
The tragic death toll from bush fires in southern Australia has now reached at least 84 and entire towns have been destroyed by the fires.
Map of Australian Bush Fires
Aus-emaps is mapping the bush fires. The red fire markers indicate fires reported in the last 12 hours the yellow markers indicate fires reported 12-24 hours ago.
The fire hotspots shown on the map are derived from the National Bushfire Monitoring System that provides information to emergency service managers across Australia.
Victoria Fires Map
The Victoria Country Fire Authority (CFA) has asked people not to access its websites unless they think they are in immediate threat of bushfire, as its webservers are unable to cope with the surge in public interest. Google have therefore released their own live-updating map of the bushfires in the State of Victoria.
The data on the map comes from the State of Victoria Country Fire Authority. The map has also been turned into a Google gadget so you can add it to your home page or embed it in a website or blog.
Liako.Biz has an interesting post called Data portability allows mashup for Australian bush fire crisis, that explores some of the issues around creating a map like the Victoria Fires Map.
ABC News Interactive Map
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation have also produced an interactive map (scroll down to the bottom of the page). The map provides links to articles about the bush fires on the ABC website.
News.com.au and theage.com.au have also created useful My Maps containing news and information about major fires and casualties.
Via: Official Google Australia Blog