Total fire bans in four South Australian districts as cool change expected to bring high winds

Total fire bans in four South Australian districts as cool change expected to bring high winds

02 February 2014

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Australia — TWO houses and six sheds were destroyed by a fire at Keyneton, in the southern Barossa Valley today.

Ninety CFS firefighters responded to the fire, which caused extensive damage to several properties this afternoon.

The alarm was raised just after 2pm when crews arrived to find a grassfire at a property on Jutland Rd had spread quickly to nearby houses and adjoining sheds.

Despite the efforts of fire crews who managed to contain the fire within an hour, the fire destroyed two houses and six sheds.

No one was injured in the incident where damage is estimated at $500,000.

 Fire-cause investigators have been called-in to determine how the fire started.

As Adelaide hit 44C today, total fire bans have been declared in four districts tomorrow – but an expected cool change overnight is set to bring high winds.

The city hit 44.7C today, at 2.32pm, with Keith the hottest town in the state at 46.4C at 3pm.

Total fire bans have been declared for four districts from midnight tonight: Northwest Pastoral, Northeast Pastoral, Flinders, Mount Lofty Ranges.

All four are in the severe category.

After three days of temperatures above 40 in SA, the weather bureau is predicting a windy day on Monday, with an expected top of 29 degrees for the city.

However, the mercury is set to climb back towards 40C by the end of the week, when rain is predicted for Saturday.

Meanwhile, the CFS says the threat posed by a bushfire at Tungkillo, east of Birdwood, burning near Gayres Rd and Adelaide-Mannum Rd, has been reduced.

CFS crews are still working at the Bangor fireground, in the southern Flinders Ranges, despite the fire being declared contained last Thursday.

The bushfire, sparks by lightning after SA’s first heatwave last month, burnt about 23,000 hectares of scrub, grass and stubble over 16 consecutive days.

There are 140 firefighters in the southern Flinders Ranges, with 20 fire trucks from the CFS, DEWNR and Forestry SA, who are continuing to mop up and prevent more fires from reigniting.

The CFS is also monitoring the Eden Valley fire, which is now controlled and burnt more than 24,000 hectares last week.

A new grassfire in the region, on Rhine Park Rd at Cambrai today has been contained but may still be generating smoke and dust.

CFS state co-ordinator Leigh Miller said predicted wind gusts forecast for later this afternoon could generate a significant amount of dust in these areas that may be mistaken for smoke.

“We still ask people to be vigilant while the hot weather continues to permeate across the state ahead of milder conditions expected later this evening when temperatures will fall,” Mr Miller said.

Total fire bans have been in place in all of the state’s fire ban districts today, except the city, despite an expected cool change overnight, the CFS has advised.

Eastern Eyre Peninsula and Kangaroo Island have an extreme fire danger, and 12 others regions are rated at severe, including the Mount Lofty Ranges and the Riverland.

The fire-danger season has a number of months to go and the state has already suffered through two heatwaves this year.

Earlier today, the CFS contained a grassfire about 4km south of Beachport near the Southern Ports Highway and Ringwood Drive.

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