South Australian authorities have issued an emergency warning for an uncontrolled bushfire in the Adelaide Hills, while a fire on the Fleurieu Peninsula has been downgraded.
The Adelaide Hills blaze is burning uncontrolled in a north-easterly direction towards Scott Creek Conservation Park, near Cherry Gardens, as the mercury hits 40 degrees Celsius across most of the state.
About 90 Country Fire Service (CFS) volunteers, are being supported by nine aircraft and 100 appliances on Sunday night.
The fire is currently burning near Hicks Hill Road, Orchard Road, Lewis Street and Prith Road.
“The most significant fire is the Cherry Gardens fire – that is a significant fire,” CFS state deputy commander Yvette Dowling said.
She said people in Kangarilla, Scott Creek, Upper Sturt, Longwood, Mount Bold, Mylor and Heathfield, as well as Meadows, Echunga and Macclesfield, need to be on alert.
Anyone in those areas needs to activate their bushfire survival plan now.
But the CFS is warning people in Hahndorf, Aldgate and Stirling to be mindful of embers.
Ms Dowling said seven fires had merged into one to create the dangerous blaze around the Mount Bold Reservoir, which has burnt about 700 hectares of dense scrub.
“It’s going to be very difficult to control,” she said.
#Bushfire Watch and Act for #CHERRY_GARDENS,_HICKS_HILL_ROAD #fire. Take action now as this bushfire may threaten your safety. #WAM ID=0005348 #SAFires https://t.co/2IbN8kntgZ pic.twitter.com/VePiyHjUcd
— Country Fire Service (@CFSAlerts) January 24, 2021
But she said the wind change that came through about 5.30pm should bring increased humidity, which would eventually make it “easier to get under control”.
Ms Dowling said the greater humidity, reduced winds overnight and rainfall expected about midday on Monday would help fire fighters.
A lot of roads in the area are closed, including Strathalbyn, Cherry Gardens, River and Echunga roads. They are only open to emergency vehicles.
Anyone wanting to evacuate their livestock and pets are able to take them to the Adelaide Hills Polo Club, at Woodside, or the Strathalbyn Racing Club.
Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Jonathan Fisher said the 5.30pm wind change did not significantly drop temperatures in the Adelaide Hills.
“We haven’t seen any relief with that change,” he said.
“Everyone is Adelaide will be able to see quite a spectacular smoke plume.”
Adelaide’s temperature reached 42.7 degrees Celsius just after midday and remained in the high 30s into the early evening.
Much of the rest of the state also sweltered, with Port Augusta reaching a high of 45.3 degrees Celsius.
A second emergency warning had just been issued for an uncontrolled bushfire at Hunts Road, Finniss, on the Fleurieu Peninsula – about 50 kilometres south of Cherry Gardens – but that has since been downgraded to an advice message.
The CFS has also issued a watch and act message regarding a bushfire at Tilley Swamp, near Kingston SE in the state’s south-east, which has burnt about 500 hectares.
This has now been downgraded as well but the Princes Highway remains closed.