Catastrophic multiple fires impacting on north coast of Kangaroo Island

11PM: TheMenzies complex of fires remains at Emergency level. What we know at this late hour, six separate fires impacting on the north coast of Kangaroo Island with five distinct plumes of smoke seen on satellite images. The fires started after thunderstorms passed over the Island about 2pm Friday afternoon.

On the western extent of the fire, unverified reports of a house under attack off Snug Cove Road surrounded by pine plantations. In centre of the complex of fires, unconfirmed reports of a structure fire on Western River Road that could have been the Western River Cove homestead where the occupant made a dramatic social media post. At the eastern end of the fire, staff at the Yumbah abalone farm reported the fire was burning in the vicinity of Rose Cottage Road southwest of Smith Bay.

The CFS state duty officer told the ABC radio that the Menzies complex consisted of six fires. The extent of the fire was not yet known but it had burned a substantial area. One Strike Team from the mainland arrived late today and additional strike teams arrive tomorrow. A Level 2 Incident Management Team will also arrive and set up on Saturday. The southwest change had moderated conditions on all the State's fires. Residents in the warning area are urged to remain vigilant and be prepared to leave if safe.

 The fires started after thunderstorm passed over the Island about 2pm Friday afternoon.

The fires started after thunderstorm passed over the Island about 2pm Friday afternoon.

10PM: CFS spokesperson tells ABC radio the impact of the KI fire is still an largely unknown, but properties had come under threat with plenty of fuel to burn. The KI CFS brigades were throwing everything at the fire.

9PM: Live pager feed at 8.15pm reported fire impacting on a property and a structure fire at Western River Road. We also received a separate report of a resident at the Western Cove homestead with fire all around the house and in the garden, with the surrounding hills ablaze.

Western River Cove.

Western River Cove.

"Fire all around the house: inside garden. Hills both sides ablaze. Smoke everywhere. Too dangerous for spot watering but what do I do?" she posted online.

Meanwhile from Penneshaw, a report from Lucy Casaretto of six CFS fire trucks getting off the ferry. "These CFS volunteers are amazing."

Eerie, surreal feeling at the Kingscote Christmas parade as the north coast of Kangaroo Island burns.

Eerie, surreal feeling at the Kingscote Christmas parade as the north coast of Kangaroo Island burns.

8.30PM: CFS update - no change except western boundary extended to Cape Forbin at De Mole River.

MULTIPLE FIRES CURRENTLY EFFECTING THE NORTHERN SIDE OF KANGAROO ISLAND BETWEEN CAPE FORBIN AND EMU BAY, INCLUDING SNELLING BEACH, KING GEORGE BEACH, STOKES BAY, HUMMOCKY POINT, WHITE CLIFFS, DASHWOOD BAY, SMITH BEACH, WISANGER AND EMU BAY TOWNSHIP are uncontrolled. These scrub fires are burning in a NORTH EASTERLY direction towards THE COAST. Conditions are continually changing.

7.30PM: The CFS have issued an Emergency Warning for a bushfire burning on THE NORTHERN SIDE OF KANGAROO ISLAND BETWEEN SEAL BEACH AT WESTERN RIVER AND EMU BAY.

The FIRES CURRENTLY EFFECTING THE NORTHERN SIDE OF KANGAROO ISLAND INCLUDING SNELLING BEACH, KING GEORGE BEACH, STOKES BAY, HUMMOCKY POINT, WHITE CLIFFS, DASHWOOD BAY, SMITH BEACH, WISANGER AND EMU BAY TOWNSHIP are uncontrolled. These scrub fires are burning in a NORTH EASTERLY direction towards THE COAST. Conditions are continually changing.

Emergency services, including police, CFS and council, have set up a command post at Parndana and the CFS is recommending Kingscote as a bushfire safe place. Residents are offering up accommodation for evacuees.

The fire has not reached Emu Bay and was currently burning south west of the Yumbah abalone farm on Rose Cottage Road, according to Yumbah staff.

There were reports the fire had entered plantation timber near Snug Cove Road at Gosse and had threatened at least one home.

These fires may pose a threat to lives directly in their paths.

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 bushfires. Heat from the fire will kill you. Do not enter this area as conditions are dangerous.

Shapes on this map image indicate the Warning Area to which this message applies.BLUE: Advice Message; YELLOW: Watch and Act Message; RED: Emergency Warning

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.

This message will be updated as the situation changes or before: Dec 20 2019 20:30

Homes that have been built to withstand a bushfire and are prepared to the highest level may provide safety.

You may lose power, water, phone and data connections.

Fire crews are responding but you should not expect a firefighter at your door.

WHAT TO DO:

  • Check and follow your Bushfire Survival Plan.
  • Protect yourself from the fire's heat, put on protective clothing.
  • Tell family or friends of your plans.

IF YOU ARE LEAVING:

  • Leave now, don't delay.
  • Roads may become blocked or access may change. Smoke will reduce visibility.
  • Secure your pets for travel.
  • If you become stuck in your car, park away from bushes, cover yourself, get onto the floor as the windows may break from the intense heat.

IF YOU CAN'T LEAVE:

  • Identify a spot to shelter in, with more than one exit. Keep moving so you are away from the heat of the fire.
  • Move flammable materials such as doormats, wheelie bins and outdoor furniture away from your house.
  • Close doors and windows to keep smoke out.
  • Bring pets inside and restrain them.
  • If you have sprinklers, turn them on to wet the area.
  • If the building catches fire, go to an area already burnt. Check around you for anything burning.

KEEP UP TO DATE:

Do not rely on a single source for warning information.

For emergencies call Triple Zero (000)

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