An emergency warning has been issued for a bushfire burning on South Australia’s Kangaroo Island which has jumped control lines.
The scrub fire near the Ravine Des Casoars wilderness protection area is an immediate threat to lives and properties in the area.
Stan Gorton, editor of the local newspaper The Islander told the ABC the fire was impacting the visitor centre in the Flinders Chase National Park.
“There is no way of stopping it. It is just marching south,” he said on Friday afternoon at 2pm.
He said a forecast change in the wind about 5pm to the west will impact farmland and scrub along the south coast where lodgers and campers had based themselves over the Christmas holiday week.
— Country Fire Service (@CFSAlerts) January 3, 2020
SA’s Country Fire Service said the blaze had already blackened more than 10,000 hectares.
Fire crews are on the scene to protect assets and battle the blaze and will be supported throughout Friday by water-bombing planes.
“Don’t enter this area as firefighters are now unable to prevent the fire spreading,” the CFS said.
— Susan Metcalfe (@susanamet) January 3, 2020
Flinders Chase National Park is now closed and tourists on the island have been urged to take action to ensure their safety.
An emergency relief centre has been established at Kingscote, on the Island’s east coast.
CFS crews are also continuing to monitor a number of existing fires on the SA mainland including the blaze in the Adelaide Hills which has destroyed more than 25,000 hectares.
It broke out amid catastrophic conditions two weeks ago and destroyed more than 80 homes but is now considered contained.
CFS chief officer Mark Jones said Friday’s weather conditions were a major cause for concern considering some fires were still burning or smouldering.
“The ignition sources are already there,” he said.
“There are millions of sparks out there ready to go if they break containment lines.”
A cool change is expected to sweep across the state, reaching Adelaide late in the day with the city to have a top of 42C before relief arrives.
The Bureau of Meteorology said the change could also pose issues for fire crews.
“It will be a strong and gusty southwesterly change as it moves across the state, and that does bring a risky period in terms of that fire weather,” severe weather forecaster Jon Fischer said.