Department of Human Services

Kangaroo Island CFS Newsletter 9

South Australian Country Fire Service (CFS) Community Newsletter

Sunday 12 January 2020

Ravine Fire, Kangaroo Island

Bushfire situation

The Ravine fire continues to burn on KI, with crews monitoring the active eastern fire edge.  Up to date statistics include:

  • 216,000ha burnt
  • A 530km fire perimeter and an active non-continuous fire edge of over 120km
  • Approximately 420 personnel on the ground across all agencies
  • About 388 of these are firefighters
  • 77 firetrucks currently on the fire ground
  • 350 Defence personnel

Due to the size and complexity of the fires and the terrain they are burning in, it is expected that the Ravine fire will continue to burn for a number of weeks.

As the weather warms up, during the afternoons and also as the week continues, we are expecting the fire to flare up along the eastern edge and in unburnt patches. Particular areas of concern include:

  • Snug Cove
  • Between Middle River and Cape Dutton
  • Stokes Bay and Lathami Conservation Park
  • Bark Hut, northwest of Parndana
  • Andamel and Mt Taylor Conservation Park northwest of Vivonne Bay

Seal Bay and Cap Gantheaume are exposed to any fire continuing in an easterly direction.  Tourism infrastructure that could be threatened include Little Sahara and Seal Bay.

What we are doing

The Country Fire Service (CFS), Farm Fire Units, SA National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), MFS and local landholders continue to work hard to stop this fire spreading. Firefighting efforts continue to focus on securing the eastern edge of the fire, putting out hotspots and mopping up, as well as suppressing new fires.

Crews are planning to do some strategic back burning in Roland Hill Highway area today to help protect communities. A backburn is also underway adjacent to Little Sahara, in an attempt to halt the eastern spread of the fire into the Seal Bay Conservation Park.  A fall back line is being prepared along Birchmore Rd to South Coast Rd.

CFS will continue to monitor fire activity in remote and inaccessible areas in Flinders Chase National Park and Ravine des Casoars Wilderness Area.

What conditions are expected?

Monday 13th will be the day to watch and have the highest fire danger index.  It will be dry to warm and mostly sunny.  The winds will be southeast to northeasterly 10 - 25 km/hr, becoming northeast to northwesterly around dawn.  During the afternoon the winds will turn southeasterly during the evening.

Park closure

For community safety, NPWS have closed Flinders Chase National Park and Kelly Hill Caves until further notice.  See https://www.parks.sa.gov.au/know-before-you-go/closures-and-alerts

What roads are open?

Road closures are in place on the western end of Kangaroo Island. Please initially check www.traffic.sa.gov.au but also the CFS website to look at road closures.

Conditions on the road are constantly changing due to active fire fighting activities, (including strategic back burning), suppression activities including road grading.  Road closures may also be the result of clearing fallen trees.  Most of this activity is occurring between the South Coast Rd and Playford Highway, east of Parndana.

Playford Highway has three different types of access restrictions which includes 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 and all roads.

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 Reserves 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

State Government of South Australia © Copyright DHS .[sm v5.4.7.1]