South Australia braces for extreme heat and catastrophic fire conditions – CFS battling fires at Smithfield, Broadmeadows and Forreston

South Australia braces for extreme heat and catastrophic fire conditions – CFS battling fires at Smithfield, Broadmeadows and Forreston

06 November 2013

published by www.perthnow.com.au


Australia — The crop fire was started when a header harvesting crops burst into flames about 1.15pm, north of Adelaide.

The CFS had warning residents to leave now if they are not prepared, but since reduced the threat.

The fire was heading in an easterly direction towards the Gawler-Kapunda Rd

As South Australia braces for catastrophic fire conditions in some areas, CFS crews have already extinguished two scrub fires overnight and attended a third near Birdwood this morning.

They have also extinguished four grass fires around the state, including at Lameroo and Strathalbyn.

About nine CFS trucks responded to a grass fire near Lameroo this morning, sparked by a burnoff last night, which was contained within an hour.

CFS crews were also called to a grass fire at Forreston, about 5km from Birdwood, at about 8.15am, and extinguished the blaze.

MFS crews were also called to two scrub and grass fires after 1am at Smithfield and Broadmeadows, which were quickly contained.

The CFS has warned it will be a “very dangerous day” for South Australia, with catastrophic fire conditions forecast for the state’s West Coast and the mercury set to soar to 35C in the metropolitan area.

Residents in high-risk bushfire areas already have had a taste of what’s to come this summer. On Saturday, a scrub fire near Aldgate left residents shocked and shaken after flames came within metres of houses and burned more than 20ha of grassland. The fire also robbed Arbury Park Outdoor School students of part of their “bush classroom”.

Volunteers will be on high alert again today with expected hot, northerly winds providing perfect fire conditions across much of the state.

They have asked farmers to rethink reaping their crops and urged people along the West Coast to enact their bushfire safety plan.

“For those in the West Coast that don’t have a bushfire survival plan – my advice is for those people is to think about relocating today,” Director of Operations and Capability Planning Malim Watts said.

Schools have also been notified to activate their bushfire survival plan if needed.

Elliston Area School, Elliston Memorial Kindergarten, Karcultaby Area School & CPC, Lock Area School & Early Learning Centre and Miltaburra Area School & Children’s Centre are closed today due to the high fire risk.

The Mt Lofty Botanic Gardens will also be closed.

In addition to the west coast, fire bans will be in place across several districts including the Eyre Peninsula, Lower Eyre Peninsula, North West Pastoral, Yorke Peninsula, Mid North and Mt Lofty Ranges district.

Senior climatologist Darren Ray said today’s top was the hottest Adelaide day since March and well above the month’s daytime maximum average of 25.1C.

“It is slightly unusual to get a 35C this early in November,” he said.

Mr Ray said a cold front should bring cooler temperatures this afternoon and Adelaide can expect a much cooler 23C tomorrow.
 


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