Department of Human Services

Cudlee Creek CFS Newsletter 5

South Australian Country Fire Service (CFS) Community Newsletter

6.00 pm Friday 27 December 2019

What is happening now?

The bushfire that started at 9:20 am on Friday 20 December 2019 on Hollands Creek Road at Cudlee Creek has burnt a total of 23,295 ha and has a perimeter of 184 kms.

It has directly impacted the Communities of:

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

It is also in the vicinity of:

  • Balhannah
  • Birdwood
  • Castambul
  • Dawesley
  • Hahndorf
  • Hay Valley
  • Inglewood
  • Kanmantoo
  • Little Hampton
  • Millbrook
  • Mount Barker
  • Mount Pleasant
  • Nairne
  • Oakbank
  • Paracombe
  • Rockleigh, and
  • Tungkillo.

On-ground crews have halted the spread of the fire and are managing to keep it within “containment lines” they have built around the perimeters of the fire ground. Crews have also been using Thermal Imaging Cameras (TIC) to identify “hot spots” and extinguish them. The southern and eastern edges of the fire ground are a priority for firefighting operations ahead of expected increasing northerly winds by Monday 30 December 2019.

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

Fire fighters have also been establishing “mineral earth” breaks between Tungkillo and Mt Torrens as a strategic activity ahead of the forecast weather changes.

Today approximately 150 firefighters and 31 fire vehicles have been operating across the fire ground. There are also seven aircraft available to work, including the Ericson Sky Crane and four water bombing aircraft.

There is also a significant Police presence on the fire ground.

What fire conditions are expected?

Weather conditions for the coming days are forecast to be unfavorable and will result in elevated fire danger conditions, particularly on 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 locations with flame, smoke, and embers.


Fire rating

Friday 27 December 2019

Severe fire danger

Saturday 28 December 2019

Severe fire danger

Sunday 29 December 2019

Severe fire danger

Monday 30 December 2019

Extreme fire danger

What we are doing?

In anticipation of the elevated fire danger conditions crews have been working to strengthen containments lines around the fire to minimise the risk of outbreaks.

What roads are open?

All roads within the fire affected areas are now open, however roads may be closed at short noticed due to emerging hazards such as outbreaks and falling trees. This may block access into and out of your location.

Drivers are advised to use extreme caution in the area as there may be stock wandering across roads due to damaged fences and visibility may be reduced.

What you can do

We are asking all community members to remain vigilant. If you see unattended fire, phone 000 (triple zero). Due to wind activity embers may continue to fall on your property.

Stay out of fire affected areas, especially areas with trees that have a risk of falling or dropping limbs.

There may be a presence of smoke in the area for some time, close all windows and doors to minimise exposure especially those with respiratory conditions, the young, elderly or ill.

If your property has been effected by fire please continue to monitor the burnt ground over the coming days and ensure that any flare ups or smoking areas are reported via triple zero.

Be alert for dangers on the fire ground especially falling trees, burnt unstable ground and fallen power lines. Ensure you are wearing protective clothing when on fire affected areas.

Where you can go

Emergency Relief Centres have been established at the following locations:

*            Turramurra Recreation Centre, 1000 Lower North East Road, Highbury. Open 7:00 am to 7.00 pm every day

*            Mount Barker High School, 2 Wellington Road, Mount Barker. Open 7:00 am to 10.00 pm every day.

Bushfire safer places

Bushfire Safer Places are located in parts of Adelaide, Murray Bridge and Mount Barker.

Further Bushfire Safer Places are also located in parts of:

  • Balhannah
  • Lobethal
  • Mannum
  • Nairne
  • Oakbank
  • Stirling
  • Strathalbyn
  • Uraidla
  • Williamstown, an
  • Woodside.

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 meters may require repair or replacement.

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

Page last updated : 27 Dec 2019

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