Fire Danger Rating for Kangaroo Island upgraded to Catastrophic

NEAR MISS: Last year's out-of-control fire at Middle River blackened about 370 hectares, destroying fences and outbuildings, narrowly missing homes. Photo: CFS
NEAR MISS: Last year's out-of-control fire at Middle River blackened about 370 hectares, destroying fences and outbuildings, narrowly missing homes. Photo: CFS

The SA Country Fire Services has just upgraded its Fire Danger Rating for Kangaroo Island on Wednesday, November 20 to Catastrophic.

Residents at risk of bushfire are being asked to consider leaving their properties tonight or early tomorrow morning if they live in an area surrounded by bush, which is much of Kangaroo Island.

All KICE schools are closed. Raptor Domain and all National Parks including Flinders Chase, Kelly Hill Caves and Seal Bay will be closed tomorrow, and campers and visitors are being asked to leave by 9am.

Concern in recent months has been expressed at a council and CFS level about the safety of people living in multiple fire-prone areas from Island Beach to American River to Vivonne Bay, all with limited access where given the right conditions a fire could progress quickly, trapping residents.

The two designated bushfire safer places on Kangaroo Island are the townships of Kingscote and Penneshaw.

The Country Fire Service (CFS) has designated the following locations around Kangaroo Island as Last Resort Refuge for those who have decided they will leave high risk locations early on a high fire risk day:

  • Kingscote Oval
  • Penneshaw Oval
  • Parndana Oval
  • American River Wharf area
  • Stokes Bay Beach car park
  • Emu Bay Wharf area

Use if your plan has failed. Not suitable for extended use and provides only limited protection during bushfire.

The Total Fire Ban brought in as a precaution today will again apply for 24 hours from midnight tonight to midnight tomorrow.

The CFS recommends that you implement your Bushfire Survival Plan.

Where fire ban districts have a forecast fire danger rating of Catastrophic, even well prepared, well constructed and defended homes may not be safe during a fire. To ensure your survival you should leave tonight or early tomorrow morning.

If you don't have a plan to ensure your survival, leaving early before a fire starts is your safest option.

In making your plan, you should be aware that in high fire danger conditions, essential services including mains-fed electricity and water supply may not be available due to the prevailing weather conditions.

Landowners are asked to adhere to local harvest codes of practice which are available from your local council.

Landowners are also asked to ensure that any burn-off activities conducted today are fully extinguished before midnight tonight.

Agencies are advised to activate their Total Fire Ban procedures in preparation for these predicted fire weather conditions.

For further information contact the Bushfire Information Hotline on 1800 362 361 or visit https://www.cfs.sa.gov.au

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