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Cudlee Creek CFS Newsletter 7

South Australian Country Fire Service (CFS) Community Newsletter

9.00 pm Sunday 29 December 2019

Critical information

Ahead of forecast deteriorating weather conditions and expected increase bushfire activity on Monday 30 December 2019

What is happening now?

A bushfire that started at 9:20 am on Friday, 20 December 2019 on Holland Creek Road at Cudlee Creek has burnt 23,177 ha and has a perimeter of 184 km.

It has directly impacted the communities of:

  • Brukunga
  • Charleston
  • Cudlee Creek
  • Gumeracha
  • Harrogate
  • Kenton Valley
  • Lenswood
  • Lobethal
  • Montacute
  • Mount Torrens
  • Woodside.

It is also in the vicinity of:

  • Balhannah
  • Birdwood
  • Castambul
  • Dawesley
  • Hahndorf
  • Hay Valley
  • Inglewood
  • Kanmantoo
  • Littlehampton
  • Millbrook
  • Mount Barker
  • Mount Pleasant
  • Nairne
  • Oakbank
  • Paracomb
  • Rockleigh
  • Tungkillo.

In anticipation of extremely dangerous fire danger conditions, crews have been working to strengthen control lines around the fire to minimise the risk of outbreaks. Crews have also been using thermal imaging cameras to identify hotspots and extinguish them. The southern and eastern edges of the fire ground are a priority for firefighting operations ahead of increasing northerly winds by Monday 30 December 2019.

Fire crews continue to respond to 000 (triple zero) calls for help. Crews will also be strategically placed in and around the fire ground in anticipation of the deteriorating weather forecast for Monday.

Firefighters have also been establishing mineral breaks between Tungkillo and Mount Torrens as a strategic activity ahead of the forecast weather changes.

Today, approximately 198 firefighters and in excess of 405 vehicles have been operating across the fire ground with continued support from private firefighting units, DEW, Forestry, SAS and SES.

There are also 8 aircraft available to work, including the Ericson sky crane and 4 waterbombing aircraft. There is also a significant police presence on the fire ground.

What conditions are expected?

Weather conditions for the coming days are forecast to be unfavourable and will result in dangerous fire conditions tomorrow, Monday, 30 December 2019.

Outbreaks in these conditions will be difficult to suppress and have the potential to significantly increase the size of the Cudlee Creek fire and impact on surrounding areas. There will be a significant threat to life and property.

The communities that are expected to be most at risk are:

  • Balhannah
  • Basket Range
  • Birdwood
  • Brukunga
  • Carey Gully
  • Charleston
  • Cherryville
  • Dawesley
  • Forest Range
  • Gumeracha
  • Hay Valley
  • Kanmantoo
  • Lenswood
  • Littlehampton
  • Lobethal
  • Marble Hill
  • Monarto
  • Montacute
  • Montacute Heights
  • Mount Pleasant
  • Mount Torrens
  • Nairne
  • Oakbank
  • Palmer
  • Rockleigh
  • Tungkillo
  • Woodside.

Sunday, 29 December 2019: severe fire danger rating

Monday 30 December 2019: extreme fire danger rating

What roads are open?

All roads are now open, however, roads can be closed at short notice due to emerging hazards such as outbreaks and falling trees. This may block access into and out of your location and affect access for some time.

Drivers are advised to use extreme caution in the area. There is continued risk of falling trees and branches, stock wandering across roads, reduced visibility and a vast amount of damage road signage.

Power and water

Approximately 80% of power has been restored to properties in the fire ground. Extensive damage has been sustained to infrastructure, particularly in the Cudlee Creek area, and some repairs may take more time. Reticulated water has been restored to all customers, however, some water metres may require repair or replacement.

What you can do

Your preparedness is now of the utmost importance.

Consider what action and preparedness is right for you in the upcoming forecast conditions, whether it is relocating early before a fire starts or having an effective plan for sheltering in place.

Once a bushfire has started, relocation to a bushfire safer place may not be possible as last-minute evacuations can be fatal.

If you have not considered how you will deal with the threat of a bushfire, this will need to be considered as a matter of urgency given the forecast conditions. Use the resources on the CFS website to help you.

Stay out of fire-affected areas, especially areas with trees that have a risk of falling or dropping limbs. If your property has been affected by fire, please continue to monitor the burnt ground over the coming days and insure that any flareups or smoking areas are reported via 000.

Smoke maybe present for some time. Close all windows and doors to minimise exposure especially for those with respiratory conditions, the young and the elderly or the ill.

Be alert for dangers on the fire ground especially:

  • falling trees
  • burnt unstable ground
  • fallen powerlines.

Ensure you are wearing protective clothing when on fire-affected areas.

Where you can go

Seek shelter with friends and family in a Bushfire Safer Place.

The safest options are:

  • Adelaide
  • Murray Bridge
  • Mount Barker.

More Bushfire Safer Places are also located in parts of:

  • Balhannah
  • Lobethal
  • Mannum
  • Nairne
  • Oakbank
  • Sterling
  • Strathalbyn
  • Uraidla
  • Williamstown
  • Woodside.

Key numbers for assistance

Bushfire Information Hotline

1800 362 361 (TTY 13 36 77)

CFS website

Disaster Recovery

1800 302 787

Cudlee Creek recovery pages (DHS website)


Livestock and Horticulture enquiries

1800 255 556

PIRSA website


1300 477 722

RSPCA website

Adelaide Hills Council

8408 0400

Adelaide Hills Council website

Mount Barker District Council

8391 7200

Mount Barker District Council website

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SA Department for Human Services
Last Updated:
05 Jul 2018
Printed on:
21 Feb 2020
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