Bushfires in Port Lincoln destroy homes, businesses

Bushfires in Port Lincoln destroy homes, businesses

13 January 2009

published by www.news.com.au

Australia — South Australian firefighters were expected to work throughout the night to contain a blaze which has destroyed two homes and continues to threaten properties outside Port Lincoln.

The fire burning out of control on the Lower Eyre Peninsula has also razed sheds, boarding kennels and two significant commercial properties, Country Fire Service (CFS) spokeswoman Tara Rischmueller (Rischmueller) said.

Four firefighters and two residents have been taken to Port Lincoln Hospital with minor injuries, the spokeswoman said.

“The fire is expected to burn throughout the night,” she said.

Up to 170 CFS and Metropolitan Fire Service fire fighters battled the blaze today, which started in an industrial area about 11.30am CDT.

Four aerial bombers and a helitanker were also involved, while two other aircraft surveyed the area.

The fire ripped through 260 hectares as temperatures in SA soared to 41 degrees.

Forty-five fire fighters from the CFS and MFS remained at the fire overnight, with 60 expected at first light tomorrow.

“The temperature has dropped, which is good,” Ms Rischmueller said.

“However, winds from the south are likely to increase so we’re not getting complacent.

“The community should be assured that the fire will be closely monitored throughout the night.”

The southerly winds would push the fire northwards, along the western outskirts of Port Lincoln, Ms Rischmueller said.

A Fire Cause Investigation team will travel to the scene tomorrow.

Residents have been advised to stay in their homes and not drive, because of road closures.

“Close all doors and windows, stay inside until the fire front has passed,” a CFS spokeswoman said earlier.

“After the fire front has passed, you should immediately begin to check your home and extinguish anything that is burning.”

Declared a day of extreme fire danger, police called on the public to report anyone acting suspiciously in rural areas.

A spokeswoman for the South Australian ambulance service said there hadn’t been an increase in heat-related call outs, despite the heat wave.

A maximum temperature of 37 degrees is forecast tomorrow in Adelaide.

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