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Fire crews brace for more severe heat as they continue to battle bushfire on Kangaroo Island

Friday December 7, 2018 - 10:36 EDT
ABC licensed image
Smoke from a fire that continues to burn on Kangaroo Island. - ABC licensed

The Country Fire Service (CFS) is bracing for another day of extreme heat in South Australia as it continues to battle and contain a fire on Kangaroo Island.

Yesterday the CFS sounded out an emergency warning for an out-of-control bushfire on Kangaroo Island at Gosse, near Mount Taylor Road, about 23 kilometres south-west of Parndana.

The warning was downgraded to a watch and act message just before 7:00pm, but a CFS spokesperson today warned there was still a risk to communities in the area.

The latest update from the CFS stated that north-westerly winds were pushing the fire in a south-easterly direction towards Vivonne Bay, and the Gosse fire was currently about 1,200 hectares in size.

"There is still some risk to some communities around the fire and they were the ones that were subject to our warnings yesterday," CFS state duty commander Daniel Austin told ABC Radio Adelaide.

"We are very much focused on trying to strengthen our containment around this fire to prevent those breakouts."

The CFS said about 40 local firefighters were still working on the fireground and were being supported by 10 additional fire trucks and 55 firefighters from the mainland.

There are also four fire-bombing aircraft and the fire is still actively burning. Crews are currently working on the fire's edge along Mount Stockdale Road.

"One hundred firefighters [were] on the ground and we saw some pretty intense fire yesterday as the fire ran through a combination of scrub, grassland and some reasonably old plantation timber," Mr Austin said.

"That will keep crews busy for an extended period of time so we see this being a multiple-day, protracted event."

Wind change could make for 'challenging day'

Mr Austin said looking ahead to today, a wind change was expected just after lunch on Kangaroo Island.

He said a total fire ban was in place right across South Australia with temperatures expected to reach the high 30s.

"Pretty much from the Yorke Peninsula, everything across to Victoria and New South Wales and Queensland border," he said.

"All the districts are rated severe … a challenging day should we get more fire on the ground."

Yesterday, Kangaroo Island Mayor Michael Pengilly said the fire was visible from just outside Kingscote.

"It was puffing up pretty well, it still is, and as the day gets longer and gets closer towards nightfall they just have to deal with it and try to contain it as much as they can before then," he said.

A second fire was also burning yesterday near Two Wells, north of Adelaide, as temperatures reached almost 40 degrees Celsius.

That fire caused a large amount of smoke to drift onto Port Wakefield, Port Gawler, Gawler River and Baker roads.

The fire broke out in stubble just before 1:00pm and damaged buildings and glasshouses at a property on Horseshoe Crescent.


© ABC 2018

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