Premier, Deputy Premier, Council officials visit Kangaroo Island fire grounds, 13,000 hectares burned

Premier Stephen Marshall and Deputy Premier Vickie Chapman on Sunday afternoon toured the Kangaroo Island fire ground.

Officials including the Kangaroo Island mayor Michael Pengilly and Greg Georgopoulos visited the command post at Parndana, water bomber replenishing point at Turkey Lane. They also visited parts of the fire ground.

The CFS website shows the Duncan fire has now extended over the entire 13,000 hectare north coast fire warning area.

The scrub fire is uncontrolled and is burning in a northerly direction towards the coast between Middle River and Snug Cove. Conditions are continually changing.

SA Police will be undertaking assessments of damaged properties around Western River and Western River Cove today. Assessments of properties around Middle River cannot commence until fire conditions moderate to allow safe access.

Relief firefighting crews will be travelling from the mainland to assist local crews over the coming week.

The Duncan fire ground on Kangaroo Island, showing the fires had now linked and burned the entire down to the coast between Western River and Middle River.

The Duncan fire ground on Kangaroo Island, showing the fires had now linked and burned the entire down to the coast between Western River and Middle River.

The Duncan fires had now linked and burned inland from the highway down to the coast between Western River and Middle River, where houses and properties at both locations came under threat. There are unconfirmed reports of at least one house lost.

In better news, the Menzies fire to the east has been downgraded to Advice level and is no longer immediately threatening the north coast or Emu Bay.

A third, separate but smaller fire at Mount Taylor Road, Karatta, meanwhile is listed as going on CFS website. It was reported at 9.26am on Sunday and was shown to have burned into a blue gum plantation.

Mt Taylor fire reported on Sunday morning and listed as "going".

Mt Taylor fire reported on Sunday morning and listed as "going".

Crews on Sunday afternoon, December 22 are continuing to work on the Coopers Road, Duncan fire on Kangaroo Island where 13,000 hectares have been burnt.

Overnight back burning has secured part of the western edge of the Duncan fire, however the area between Snug Cove on the coast and Snug Cove Road approximately 2km south of the coast remains unsecured at this time.

The CFS is implementing its plans to secure the western edge of the fire using a retardant line, but due to smoke causing poor visibility this is proving to be difficult.

Plans are also being made to secure the southern edge of the fire, north of the Playford Highway.

Two teams of firefighters from the mainland are working with local crews, private farm firefighting units, the forestry industry and crews from the Department of Environment and Water.

To ensure your safety, and that of firefighters and other emergency personnel, please do not enter the area unless necessary. Hazards may include reduced visibility due to smoke, fallen trees blocking roads and emergency vehicles operating in the area.

Residents in the area are advised to remain vigilant and to continue checking and following your Bushfire Survival Plan.

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

The Menzies fire to the east has been downgraded to Advice level and is no longer immediately threatening the north coast or Emu Bay.

The Menzies fire to the east has been downgraded to Advice level and is no longer immediately threatening the north coast or Emu Bay.

Mayor invites Premier

KI mayor Michael Pengilly said he asked the Premier and Deputy Premier to visit the Island.

"We visited KI Base at Parndana where they received a comprehensive brief from Terry May and incident management team.

"No TV or news teams were made aware of the KI visit deliberately. Then the Premier and I went to air support at Turkey Lane where a briefing was given.

"Local SES are doing the aircraft loading out there. Vickie Chapman went to the fire ground at Middle River and west with the council CEO accompanying her.

"On the way to the Menzies fire ground I requested from Stephen Marshall that the government supply a recovery coordinator. He agreed.

"Hoping to call a small recovery group meeting either later today or Monday to kick things off. Anyone that needs assistance including financial household grants, these are available through Government already.

"Many of our community including mainland assistance are still flat out on fire grounds. It is my intention to get a brief out to councillors Monday.

"Considerable council resources and staff are on the fire grounds helping. Anyone who wishes can ring me on 0419 030 564 as necessary .Thank you all for your ongoing efforts."

State Member visits

State Member for Mawson Leon Bignell on Saturday visited the Kangaroo Island command post for a briefing. "There is still plenty of work to be done to put out the fires on Kangaroo Island's north coast," he posted online.

"Amazing to spend time in the command centre today to witness the way everyone is working together. CFS volunteers and staff, people from National Parks, Primary Industries, Police, Ambulance, KI Council and the private sector plotting and planning then executing that plan on the fire ground.

"There are at least two local island families of four out on CFS trucks together including a mum, dad and their two sons from the Haines brigade. The local Parndana Hotel is providing meals and local Davo's Deli is doing sandwiches.

"There are also strike teams from around South Australia who are all chipping in to save lives and property and get this fire out ahead of more bad weather and Christmas. Thank you one and all."

Jaqui Havelburg and her husband Damien with sons Brodie and Zac, who has just come for Christmas, while their daughter Eliza is in training to join CFS. Our volunteers are amazing! Photo: Leon Bignell

Jaqui Havelburg and her husband Damien with sons Brodie and Zac, who has just come for Christmas, while their daughter Eliza is in training to join CFS. Our volunteers are amazing! Photo: Leon Bignell

Help available

Catherine Kewley from local KI charity Island Care posted help was available for those impacted on by the fires.

"Island Care is closed today however anyone effected by the fires will be assisted upon request.We have plenty of clothes and toothbrushes and some funds for other hygiene items if needed.We have already helped several families with items needed and tourists who were also evacuated.

"To all the Fire Fighters, Police, SES, and all the many many people in the background, we say THANK YOU. Every person who helps in any capacity is so important, right down to the people making the sandwiches.

"From Island Care we wish everyone a safe Christmas, and we thank everyone for their service to our beautiful Island. Please call or text 0459 100 610. Please note: this is a 24 hour service."

Tourist information

Tour operator Craig Whickham from Exceptional Kangaroo Island posted a good, clear explanation of the current situation.

"For those friends with clients coming to Kangaroo Island I am providing the latest update showing the extent of the fires from the Country Fire Service website and also Sentinel Hotspots. The current situation is that weather has cooled down considerably and the winds are consistently out of the south/south-east which has made conditions far more manageable.

"There are still active fire grounds in two areas - one is the big one in the north-west and this is impacting accommodations around Snellings Beach such as LifeTime Private Retreats. I understand holiday accommodations in this zone evacuated and remained closed. We will clearly avoid this zone until given the all clear.

"The fire near us "Gum Creek Road" is still active but does not show on the hotspot map as it appears to be active only in a major mopping up/blacking out situation. This remains a concern until this is complete but from an "exploring the island" perspective, it is easy to avoid this district and remain safe.

"I was down the west end with guests yesterday out of Southern Ocean Lodge and saw no evidence of any fire - the closest fire to the south-west has not had any detectable activity for more than 24 hours.

"Mainland crews have moved in to support the awesome work done by CFS crews, private units and National Parks teams and at least four water bomber aircraft were still working yesterday evening. Many of the EKI team have been on the fire grounds or sticking close to home to defend their house and property and the rest of the team have stepped up to do additional tasks to make sure things run smoothly.

"Sincere gratitude for the efforts of all involved in the fires - the weather conditions on Friday were unprecedented and I fear that there is the shape of things to come.

"There is lots of smoke around I the morning as things cool overnight and air descends but it can be literally hundreds of km/miles from any active fire."

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