This time last week we were waking up to the news that 14 people had died and a few houses had burned.
A week on, the death toll is 181, and still expected to rise further, approximately 2000 homes are gone, more than 7000 people are homeless, and whole towns have been destroyed. Twelve fires are still burning out of control. The power of Mother Nature is astounding. Unfortunately some of the fires were deliberately lit, and it appears that one of the bigger fires started due to a power line problem, but once they started, the conditions were just right for a fire disaster and that is exactly what happened.
There have been amazing videos which just tore the heart out of the viewer, watching the fire and embers surround peoples properties and hearing those people say goodbye to their loved ones, just in case they didn't make it.
On Friday, for the first time since the fires started, you could smell the smoke in the air in Melbourne, and the sky was hazy. The moon was red and it just felt so eerie. It was a potent reminder that while the initial force of the fire has been mostly harnessed, there were still people whose properties and lives were at risk.
Whilst for the people who were involved in this fire, there is no respite from the reality of losing your home and your friends and loved ones, there have been times this week when I have just had to turn off the news and do or watch something else because the sense of loss and horror is just overwhelming.
In the aftermath, what we have seen is the very generous nature of Aussies and their friends. There have been huge amounts of money raised and mountains of goods donated, and this is only the beginning.
To give some kind of perspective to how close many of these towns are to Melbourne itself, the photo below is the view from Kinglake, one of the towns devastated by the fire, and the scene where many people lost their lives. Kinglake is 99 miles (160 kilometres) from Melbourne.
Photo from the Herald Sun