Adelaide, Australia — Nine firefighters have been injured and a housedestroyed as a bushfire rages out of control south of Adelaide.
The Department of Environment and Heritage (DEH) has taken the extraordinarymeasure of closing all parks in the Mount Lofty Ranges and the FleurieuPeninsula due to the extreme fire risk, with no relief in sight from heatwaveconditions until Tuesday.
Waterbombers and 160 fire fighters are battling the blaze near the historic townof Willunga, 47km from Adelaide, as the tinder-dry region swelters through itslongest-ever heatwave.
The fire started about 3.30pm (CDT) on the edge of the winegrowing region ofMcLaren Vale,
Country Fire Service (CFS) spokeswoman Kate Husband said the blaze had burntmore than 100 hectares. “Unfortunately we have lost one house,” she said.
The firefighters suffered burns and smoke inhalation. Two were taken to hospitaland seven were treated by paramedics.
“It gives an indication of the extent of the conditions. The fire just gotaway,” Ms Husband said.
“The soil and vegetation are so dry that they (the firefighters) were veryquickly dealing with a very serious fire.
“We are still in for four, five or six days of bushfire conditions.”
Residents around Willunga are being warned to activate bushfire plans and notethere are roadblocks in place.
People who commute to the city should consider remaining there tonight, the CFSsays.
The CFS says the fire is burning south towards Yundi Road in light scrub andfarm land.
Adelaide, still in the grip of drought, today surpassed the previous capitalcity heatwave record of 10 days above 35 degrees recorded in Perth in February1988.
Fire bans are in force across the state tomorrow.
The DEH will close parks in the region for 24 hours from midnight.
The only exceptions will be the Mount Lofty Summit, the Cleland Wildlife Park,recreation zones in Belair National Park, the Granite Island Recreation park andthe Newland Head Conservation Park.