Catastrophic Bushfire Danger Warning Issued For South Australian Districts

Catastrophic Bushfire Danger Warning Issued For South Australian Districts

CANBERRA, Dec 8 (NNN-AAP) – Local authorities have declared a catastrophic fire danger warning, for much of South Australia (SA), amid severe weather conditions.

The SA branch of the Country Fire Service (CFS), a volunteer service that has responsibility for firefighting in the state’s regional areas, today warned, the southern Australian state was facing its most significant fire weather days in years.

Temperatures were forecast to exceed 40 degrees Celsius across most of SA today, with strong winds and dry lightning exacerbating the fire risk.

The weather forecast has prompted the CFS to declare catastrophic fire danger ratings, for five of the state’s 15 districts, and extreme fire danger ratings for five more, including the state capital of Adelaide and its surrounding suburbs.

Under a catastrophic fire warning, people are urged to leave bushfire risk areas, with any fires that do start and take hold, likely to result in lost lives and property.

A total fire ban has been declared for every region under catastrophic and extreme ratings.

SA’s CFS Chief Officer, Brett Loughlin, told reporters yesterday that, any fires that did start would be “incredibly difficult” to control, warning, strong winds would likely ground firefighting aircraft.

“The dry lightning creates a real risk of fire starting, anywhere these thunderstorms occur, unfortunately the forecast is a broad area of dry lightning and thunderstorm activity,” he said.

“It is crucial that people do not rely on firefighters and aviation assets to save them.”

He said, today’s forecast conditions were similar to those that ignited the 2015 Pinery bushfire, which killed two people and destroyed more than 470 buildings, over seven days between Nov and Dec, north-east of Adelaide.

Residents of areas facing extreme fire risk, today, have been urged to prepare a bushfire survival plan.


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