Department of Human Services

Kangaroo Island CFS Newsletter 10

South Australian Country Fire Service (CFS) Community Newsletter

Tuesday 14 January 2020

Ravine Fire, Kangaroo Island

Bushfire situation

Current statistics:

  • 210,000 hectares burned (unburnt islands have now been mapped)
  • 595km fire perimeter
  • PIRSA confirmed 32,000 livestock lost on island
  • 65 dwellings destroyed
  • 11 major damage to dwellings
  • 268 outbuildings destroyed
  • 274 vehicles destroyed

There are still properties to be assessed by SAPOL so these are only indicative numbers.

  • There are 536 people housed in the base camp helping this fire effort.
  • About 130 farm fire units actively working on Kangaroo Island
  • 64 firetrucks
  • Aircraft: 5x firebombers, 4x observational aircraft

Vegetation Types

The main vegetation burnt by the fire is coastal heath, mallee and sugar gums.

What we are doing

The Ravine fire continues to be uncontrolled, but mainly within the fire perimeter.  The fire edge is approximately 120km long – that is further than Cape Jervis to Adelaide. Firefighters are patrolling this 120km edge in firetrucks and on foot to ensure that every hotspot is extinguished.  The firefighters will continue to patrol the fire edge and mop up any hotspots.

Yesterday there were still some flare ups in parts of the fireground – in the south coast and Seddon areas.  These flare ups are in unburnt areas within control lines

Areas of Seal Bay and Cape Gantheaume are currently untouched so we are working to ensure we contain the fire in this area to prevent spread into these National Parks.

What conditions are expected?

Weather conditions are benign over the next few days and wind conditions will be consistently from the south.

These conditions mean that the CFS will be able to work on strategic operations to contain this fire, to the north and east of the fireground.

Many communities may be experiencing smoke, with Vivonne Bay is still having a higher level than most.

Park closure

For community safety, NPWS have closed Flinders Chase National Park and Kelly Hill Caves until further notice.  While it is hoped that Seal Bay will be reopened very soon, the roads will need to be safe and cleared before this can happen.  Please check https://www.parks.sa.gov.au/know-before-you-go/closures-and-alerts before you plan a trip to any national park.

What roads are open?

Road closures are in place on the western end of Kangaroo Island.

The Kingscote to Parndana Road is now Tier 3, allowing residents to use the road.

At this stage, Bark Hut Rd, Gum Creek Rd, Rowland Hill Highway, the road in and out of Seal Bay and East West One Highway route into Parndana via Airport Rd are all Tier 1; closed due to active fire.

Conditions on the road are constantly changing due to active fire fighting activities, including strategic back burning, and other suppression including road grading.  Road closures may also be the result of clearing fallen trees and these roads are currently being assessed.

While Playford Highway has three different types of access restrictions, currently between Kingscote and Parndana, it is Tier 3 allowing bona fide residents through.

Tier 1 (Emergency Services only);
Tier 2 (Essential Services Assessment and restoration activities; media with escort);
Tier 3 (Relief Recovery Services and Bona Fide residents & media).

Please check before travelling on the Playford Highway beyond Parndana.

Please check www.traffic.sa.gov.au but also the CFS website to look at road closures before planning your trip.

What you can do

It is important for the community to stay alert, monitor conditions and be ready to put your Bushfire Survival Plan into action.

This fire continues to be very active and the community needs to stay alert and watch out for new fires in their area. For emergencies and to report new or unattended fires call Triple Zero (000).

Residents need be aware of potential new hazards on their properties and across the fire ground. Watch out for falling trees, burning trees and underground roots, damaged or blocked roads, fallen power lines, smoke, ash and possible asbestos contamination.

There are large patches of unburnt ground in the area and people need to monitor their surrounds for flare ups. Take action to stay safe.

Support agencies

There are many different agencies and organisations supporting the CFS. Lots of activities are happening across the fire ground and around Kangaroo Island. Many community groups are working hard to support fire affected people, including those community groups at Parndana.

The Defence Force and SES have moved the large Base camp to an area near the Kingscote airport to support effective and timely transport of fire fighters. Defence are also helping landowners safely dispose of animal carcasses. Services are currently assessing damage to telecommunications, water and power utilities and it may be some time before these are returned to full capacity.

The Relief Centre is open from 7am to 7pm at the Kingscote Football Club, Centenary Avenue Kingscote. People directly affected by the fire are encouraged to visit the Relief Centre to apply for emergency grants and assistance.

Contact points

Bushfire Information Hotline - phone 1800 362 361

TTY - phone 13 36 77

If life is in danger, phone 000 (triple zero)

CFS website

Page last updated : 31 Jan 2020

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