Uncontrolled bushfire at Gosse, Kangaroo Island heading south

An uncontrolled bushfire is burning at Gosse, Kangaroo Island. 

Police have closed the South Coast Highway between Crabbs Road and Gosse Ritchie Road.

The MOUNT TAYLOR ROAD, GOSSE fire is uncontrolled. This scrub fire is burning in a SOUTH EASTERLY direction towards MOUNT STOCKDALE ROAD, SOUTH COAST ROAD AND VIVONNE BAY. Conditions are continually changing. 

Police at 3.30pm issued an emergency message for an area to the south of fire, including Vivonne Bay.

Police at 3.30pm issued an emergency message for an area to the south of fire, including Vivonne Bay.

This fire may pose a threat to lives directly in its path.

Act now. Leave, if the path is clear to a safer place, as it will soon be too dangerous to drive.

If you cannot leave, identify where you will seek shelter from the bushfire. Heat from the fire will kill you. Do not enter this area as conditions are dangerous.

For updates listen to your local ABC radio station on a battery powered radio, visit the CFS website www.cfs.sa.gov.au or phone the Bushfire Information Hotline on 1800 362 361.

UPDATE 3.30PM: Linda Irwin-Oak was attempting to get home to Vivonne Bay from the west and is now stopped at the road block on South Coast Road. She was stopped at the driveway of Old Karatta 6420. 

Sam Horjus reported he believed there were four water bombers flying.

The CFS reports an emergency warning is now in place for this fire. Conditions are very dangerous. The CFS posted a picture taken by CFS Aerial Crews at 2.44pm. “You can see the intensity of this fire and the spotting activity ahead of it.”

UPDATE 4PM: The fire started at Mt Taylor Road and the first reports to the CFS came in at 1.23pm. There are now 17 resources responding and the fire is at Level 2. 

We are hearing now that Vivonne Bay is being evacuated and the fire is heading in that direction quickly. Residents are being urged to get out now if you can. 

CFS UPDATE 4PM: 

There is currently an Emergency Warning message active for this fire. This warning message will be updated at Dec 06 2018 16:35 or as the situation changes.` 

The warning message has been issued for people in MOUNT TAYLOR ROAD, GOSSE, MOUNT STOCKDALE ROAD, SOUTH COAST ROAD AND VIVONNE BAY AREAS. 

North Westerly winds are pushing the fire in a South Easterly direction towards South Coast Road, Vivonne Bay.

The Gosse fire is currently about 540 hectares in size and consists of one large fire and two smaller fires and is actively spotting ahead of the fire front. About 40 firefighters are currently working on the fireground, along with four fire bombers aircraft. Arrangements are currently being made to bring additional firefighting resources to the Island. 

Motorists travelling along South Coast Road in the proximity of Seal Bay, Vivonne Bay and Kellys Hill Caves are advised not drive into this area. A large amount of smoke is visible, fire conditions may be erratic and emergency services will be present. Fire is spotting up to 500 metres in advance of the firefront.

BUSHFIRE SAFER PLACES

Bushfire Safer Places for Kangaroo Island are Kingscote and Penneshaw

Bushfire Last Resort Refuges can we be found on the SA CFS website here.

For information on Bushfire Last Resort Refuges near this incident are available at https://www.cfs.sa.gov.au/site/prepare_for_a_fire/bushfire_safer_places.jsp

ROAD CLOSURES

Roads have been closed due to this incident. 

South Coast Road is closed between Gosse Ritchie Rd and Harriet Rd.

For updates visit the CFS website (www.cfs.sa.gov.au) or phone the Bushfire Information Hotline on 1800 362 361.

Planes refilling

UPDATE 4.30PM  – KI Connect ferry has now offered its services to bring over additional CFS crews from the mainland. Graders and dozers have been sent down and council crews are preparing for night shift. SES crews are refilling aircraft with retardant. Video on The Islander Facebook page. 

UPDATE 5.45PM: There are now 28 crews fighting the fire and it’s been escalated to Level 3. Today's fire just happens to be exactly 11 years to the day from the Flinders Chase fire that ripped through the western end of the Island on December 6, 2007

Department of Environment and Water National Parks firefighters at Adelaide airport on the way over to Kangaroo Island have been photographed by former editor Shauna Black, who covered the 2007 fires.  

UPDATE 6PM:The Islander has just spoken to CFS headquarters. There have been no lives or properties confirmed lost yet. There were however a number of properties under direct threat and the outcome at these properties is not known. 

The fire appears to be heading west of Vivonne Bay into the conservation park. CFS holds concerns that once in the thick scrub, the fire could burn for some time.

Conditions are expected to ease overnight but there is also concern that winds tomorrow could push the fire in easterly direction back toward the township.

There are now two strike teams, consisting of 22 firefighters each, on their way to Kangaroo Island. Stay tuned for more updates.

CFS UPDATE 6.53PM: The Mt Taylor, Gosse fire is uncontrolled. This scrub fire is burning in a southerly direction towards South Coast road near Harriet Road and Stockdale Road. Conditions are continually changing. Take action now as this bushfire may threaten your safety. If you are not prepared, leave now and if the path is clear, go to a safer place. Do not enter this area as conditions are dangerous.

CFS UPDATE 7.16PM: North Westerly winds are pushing the fire in a South Easterly direction towards South Coast Road, Vivonne Bay. The Gosse fire is currently about 540 hectares in size and consists of one large fire and one small fire. 

About 40 local firefighters are currently working on the fireground and are being supported by 10 additional fire trucks and 55 firefighters from the mainland. There are also four fire bombing aircraft. Motorists are advised not drive into this area. A large amount of smoke is visible. Fire conditions may be erratic and emergency services will be present. 

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