Kangaroo Island, Parndana prepare for severe fire weather

UPDATE 9.30PM: The Kangaroo Island community is preparing for a severe fire ban day for Monday, December 30.

Aircraft on Sunday afternoon placed a retardant line on the north side of Parndana, along the Playford Highway in preparation for possible fire break on Monday.

Police closed the Playford Highway for two hours, while the retardant line was put in. Earth moving machinery was also used to construct fire breaks around Parndana.

However, a late change in weather forecast has reduced fire threat to Parndana.

At the same time on Sunday afternoon about 120 people attended a CFS community meeting at the Parndana Town Hall, where residents were asked to decide to leave early or stay and defend.

The CFS warns people not to drive on closed roads unless they are Tier 3 designated and they are accessing their properties.

There are dangers, such as falling trees, even if there is no visible fire.

Sunday Parndana meeting

Mayor Michael Pengilly urged all residents to stay up to date with and to heed the warnings. The council was deploying all its resources and personnel to to the fire as needed.

Maree Baldwin at the Junction community centre has a running list of around 18 homes available to take in evacuees.

KI Council CEO Greg Georgopoulosand the CFS are advising all residents and visitors that the towns of Kingscote and Penneshaw are the designated Bushfire Safer Places.

The ovals in these towns are the designated evacuation points for those who do leave and don't have anywhere to stay. The toilets will be open but it will be up to the football club to open the showers.

The council building in Kingscote is also a place that people can gather and seek assistance if needed.

In Parndana, the town hall and hotel were areas were people could also seek shelter if needed. SES volunteers were door-knocking around Parndana on Sunday afternoon, advising residents of the situation.

People should decide tonight or by 8am on Monday morning whether they are going to leave.

Lyn Dohle from PIRSA meanwhile told the meeting that the racecourse at Kingscote would be available from 8am Monday for horses only

Owners will need to bring will need to bring fodder and feed containers. If you require cages or locations for pets, she can be contacted at 0419 846 204.

Councillor, Parndana farmer and CFS member Sam Mumford had been fighting the fire for over week and was confident all the steps to protect the community had been put in place.

"We got this," he told The Islander after the meeting.

BlazeAid meanwhile is considering coming to Kangaroo Island to offer assistance.

If you are a farmer or neighbor and know of fencing losses or any other handy information, please text or email BlazeAid president Kevin Butler on 0418 530 471 or admin@blazeaid.com.au

"I am getting reports of severe damage to farmers' properties with the Duncan fire which is still going and may really take off tomorrow. Asking for more intelligence on whether a BlazeAid base camp should be set up there."

The Duncan fire on the north coast of Kangaroo Island as of Sunday.

The Duncan fire on the north coast of Kangaroo Island as of Sunday.

Official update (Sunday afternoon)

A Bushfire Advice Message is current for the Duncan Fire on Kangaroo Island. This message will be upgraded or escalated using the CFS scaled warning system as needed.

Due to the forecast weather for today, Sunday, December 29 and tomorrow, Monday, December 30, the fire will have the potential to break control lines and burn in a south-south easterly direction of the current fire locality, potentially impacting the township of Parndana and surrounding communities, farms and timber plantations.

The CFS asks all community members to remain vigilant as the situation over the next 48 hours may change rapidly.

Watch out for embers, hotspots and flare ups in and around the fire ground. Put your Bushfire Survival Plan into action. During high risk days, leaving early is the safest option.

CFS has not undertaken any evacuations.

Tomorrow (Monday, December 30) will commence with hot and windy conditions with the forecast temperature likely to be in the mid 30's, with the possibility of gusty showers and thunderstorms occurring at any time.

Please do not enter the fire affected area unless necessary, these areas may not be safe. Hazards may include extreme radiant heat, reduced visibility due to smoke, fallen trees blocking roads, damaged road signage and emergency service personnel working in the area.

Remember that a vehicle is one of the worst places to seek shelter in a fire.

Roads north of the Playford Highway and west of Stokes Bay Road in the fire area are closed. Roads are being continually reviewed and may be closed at short notice. Refer to www.traffic.sa.gov.au for the latest information.

The fire is approximately 56 kilometres west of Kingscote and 19km North West of Parndana. To date, an estimated 19,000 hectares have been burnt with a fire perimeter of 125kms.

Work is underway to continue to secure the perimeter of the fire with a focus on the western, eastern and southern edges.

More than 100 firefighters and 25 fire trucks, including 15 fire trucks from the mainland, are operating on the fire ground and supported by numerous firefighting aircraft as required.

The townships of Kingscote and Penneshaw are designated Bushfire Safer Places.

Power has now been restored to the fire ground area, however it may be turned off with little notice to ensure the safety of emergency service personnel working in the area.

For assistance with animals and carcass removal, call Primary Industries and Regions SA on 1800 255 556. Skip bins have been provided in some towns for the disposal of household waste only.

If you see an unattended fire please call triple zero (000). Be aware, that with increasing fire severity, fire crews may not be available to assist every property.

More information on preparing your property are available on the CFS website www.cfs.sa.gov.au/site/resources/fact_sheets.jsp

For updates 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 30 2019 12:00

WHAT TO DO:

  • Check and follow your Bushfire Survival Plan
  • Decide what you will do if the situation changes
  • Look and listen for information on television, radio, internet, mobile phones and by speaking with neighbours

KEEP UP TO DATE:

Do not rely on a single source for warning information.

For emergencies call Triple Zero (000)

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