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HomeDUNIASouth Australian firefighters battle bushfires on Christmas Day

South Australian firefighters battle bushfires on Christmas Day

South Australian firefighters are using Christmas Day to try to bring the devastating Adelaide Hills bushfire under control.

Slightly milder conditions today and on Boxing Day will give the state’s Country Fire Service some chance of bringing the 25,000-hectare blaze to heel ahead of hot weather forecast for the weekend.

A watch and act warning remains in place for the region, where fires have destroyed 84 homes and hundreds of other buildings as well as claiming one life.

The Hollands Creek Road and Cudlee Creek fires remain uncontrolled, the latest update from the CFS states, with nearby residents urged to leave if they are able to.

“There are hot spots within the fire ground and although the forward rate of spread has halted should an outbreak occur it is likely to burn in a northerly direction,” the warning says.

“Localised gully winds may also cause flare-ups and may have an effect on the direction of travel. Conditions are continually changing.”

A return to very hot weather has been forecast for the weekend, with temperatures set to top 40C together with rising winds.

CFS Chief Officer Mark Jones said he was inspired by the efforts of his volunteers as work continues to bring the fire under control.

“You selflessly give your time, time away from your family, and you endure financial losses to put yourself in harm’s way to protect the community,” he said.

Mr Jones said about 200 firefighters would remain on the ground in the Hills today, and those at home would be ready to spring into action.

“Fires don’t discriminate whether it’s Christmas Day or not and our firefighters don’t discriminate either,” he said.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison toured areas hit hard by the fires yesterday, visiting the Lobethal emergency relief centre, a CFS brigade at Woodside and a local winery which lost its 10-hectare vineyard.

He said in almost every case, those devastated by the fire had worked incredibly hard to build up what was there.

“They’re very determined people and my encouragement to them today is to access the help that is available,” he said.

“No one is invincible. No one can carry all of this on their own.”

Mr Morrison also paid tribute the firefighters on duty across the Hills and those battling other fires around SA and across the country.

“Today may be Christmas Eve but for so many firefighters, it’s going to be another day out there protecting their communities,” he said.


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