Bushfire risk to peak in SA on Friday

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16 Jan 2019

Multiple bushfires continue to burn across South Australia with authorities fearing the emergency will only get worse.


Country Fire Service crews are battling fires on the west coast, Eyre Peninsula, the mid-north, the southeast and the Riverland.

About 18 are causing concern with the worst of those on Thursday near Port Germein, north of Adelaide, where a blaze in largely inaccessible scrub is a threat to lives and homes.

The CFS says the blaze is burning out of control, prompting an emergency warning with locals urged to activate their bushfire survival plans.

Water bombing aircraft have been deployed with ground crews ready to attack the fire when it moves onto lower ground.

“It’s been burning for a couple of days in very steep country and has been giving us some headaches,” a CFS spokesman said.

“We will have to work very hard tonight.”

Other areas of concern for the CFS on Thursday included a string of fires on the west coast, a complex of fires in the Ngarkat national park near the Victorian border, a number of fires in the Gawler Ranges on the northern Eyre Peninsula and a fire near Loxton and Berri in the Riverland.

On Friday fire crews in all areas face the triple threat of extremely high temperatures, rising winds and thunderstorms.

Chief officer Greg Nettleton says the CFS is bracing for changing conditions as a wind shift and eventually a cooler change sweeps across the state, breaking a five-day heatwave.

“We go into an escalating fire pattern over the next 48 hours,” he told reporters on Thursday.

“The issue tomorrow is wind. That causes fires to spread rapidly.”

Fears for Friday also include a band of thunderstorms expected to move across the state bringing with it the prospect of thousands of lightning strikes.

Many of the fires already burning were sparked earlier this week when thunderstorms also moved across SA.

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