Fairfax Media Network

Weather News

Fire authorities prepare for day of extreme danger in Adelaide Hills

Wednesday December 27, 2017 - 08:50 EDT
ABC image
A fire near Tarlee blackened 50 hectares and needed 80 firefighters to bring it under control. - ABC

Fire authorities are at their highest level of alert in South Australia as parts of the state face extreme heat, with police keeping an eye out for fire bugs after two suspicious blazes in the Adelaide Hills.

Temperatures are set to soar into the mid-40s in the far north, and the Country Fire Service (CFS) has issued total fire bans in 13 of the state's 15 regions.

The fire risk has been rated as extreme in the Mount Lofty Ranges and Eastern Eyre Peninsula, and severe in other districts.

"These are the types of days where CFS and our partner agencies are at our highest level of alert and preparedness," CFS assistant chief officer Rob Sandford said.

"If a fire starts today in the conditions forecast, we will have difficulty controlling that fire until the weather conditions abate.

"The wind and the high temperatures and the low relative humidity today are influencing the forest fire danger in the Mount Lofty Ranges.

"That's why that's an extreme fire danger rating, and the Eastern Eyre Peninsula because of the wind speed in that area."

Police on alert for fire bugs

Firefighters have already been kept busy by several small fires in the last 36 hours, including two in the Adelaide Hills — one at Paracombe, the other at Forreston — which police believe were deliberately lit.

Patrols from Operation Nomad, which is dedicated to tackling arson, will today be "in the hills and definitely looking out for any suspicious activity", senior constable Kylee Simpson said.

"But we also call on the public and ask them if they do see anything suspicious to please call us on 131 444," she said.

Another fire believed to have been sparked by a header blackened 50 hectares near Tarlee north of Adelaide yesterday afternoon.

Water bombers helped 80 firefighters bring the blaze under control within two hours.

Adelaide is heading for a forecast top of 39 degrees Celsius, but temperatures are expected to be several degrees warmer in the far north, including 44C in Oodnadatta and Marree.

"We've got a change moving through later this evening. Ahead of that we'll see fresh north-easterly to north-westerly winds and very hot and dry conditions," Bureau of Meteorology duty forecaster Ben Owen said.

Police have also reminded holidaymakers who have flocked to the River Murray about new lifejacket laws now in effect.

Operation Riversafe began yesterday, and wearing a life jacket is now mandatory for children under the age of 12, or people of all ages who are aboard motorboats shorter than 4.8 metres.


© ABC 2017

More breaking news

Sydney Morning Herald
ABC News
National Nine News
News Limited

Display Your Local Weather

Weather News

Myer Hobart store beats flood and fire, but market conditions may be toughest foe

17:03 EST

It has risen again from the ashes and has emerged from a devastating flood — but the challenge for the latest incarnation of Myer's Hobart store is simply to get people to shop there.

Perth rainfall is higher than Melbourne, Hobart, London despite reputation for sunny beaches

14:41 EST

Perth may be best known for its idyllic beaches and sunny skies, but the West Australian capital sees more rain than Melbourne, Hobart and London — cities often associated with gloomy, wet weather.

Dry autumn for Murray-Darling

13:47 EST

With just over a month left until the end of autumn, it's shaping up to be a very dry season for most of the Murray-Darling Basin.