Australian fire-fighters battle bushfire in heatwave

2015-01-07 11:14
File: AFP

File: AFP

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Sydney - Australian authorities said on Wednesday they had largely contained a destructive bushfire in the country's south but would remain vigilant against potential flare-ups with a heat wave set to send temperatures soaring.

South Australia's fire service said they had 85% of a huge blaze in the Adelaide Hills in hand with temperatures expected to rise to 38°C.

"While we are saying 85% contained, there is a risk still that fire may re-erupt in some of the areas where it hasn't yet burnt," the fire service's incident controller Scott Turner said.

About 500 fire-fighters are tackling the bushfire, which razed 12 500 hectares of scrub and farmland in the Mount Lofty Ranges, east of Adelaide, over the weekend.

At least 167 buildings, including 38 homes, have been damaged or destroyed since Friday when the blaze broke out.

Fire-affected areas

Turner said fire-fighters had mobilised additional resources - including aircraft dumping fire retardant - ahead of the expected rise in temperatures and changing wind conditions.

"The fire conditions today - although are high to severe - are not the same as Friday," Turner said.

"We have in excess of 14 aircraft available to us should we see severe weather conditions this afternoon. We will move every asset we have available to protect our communities and to stop further fire spread," he said.

Firefighters are hopeful that if they are able to keep the fire within containment lines on Wednesday, easing weather conditions on Thursday will help them get it fully under control.

The bushfire has already seen 350 insurance claims of more than Aus$13m, the Insurance Council of Australia said.

In neighbouring Victoria state, temperatures are also expected to soar, with residents in fire-affected areas told to remain alert even as bushfire warnings were downgraded.

Bushfires are common in Australia's hot summer months. "Black Saturday", the worst firestorm in recent years, devastated southern Victoria in 2009, razing thousands of homes and killing 173 people.

Read more on:    australia

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.