The Country Fire Service (CFS) has issued an emergency alert for a fire burning in Adelaide’s Mount Lofty Ranges.
- An emergency warning has been issued for the Cherry Gardens bushfire
- Several homes have been damaged
- Rain is expected later today
Residents in the towns of Longwood, Mylor and Biggs Flat are being warned the Cherry Gardens fire that started yesterday may pose a threat.
They are being told to leave if it is safe to do so, or take shelter.
The fire is burning in a north-easterly direction, but the Country Fire Service says wind conditions are continually changing and that could change the direction of the fire unexpectedly.
More than 2,500 hectares of land have already been burnt in the Cherry Gardens fire and the CFS says it expects several homes will have been lost.
They are hoping to be able to assess the damage this morning.
A cooler change and possible rain is expected later today.
About 300 firefighters and 50 fire trucks are on the fireground in steep terrain.
Homes lost in fire
CFS deputy chief officer Andrew Stark this morning said “a number of homes” had been lost in the fire.
He said several buildings had been damaged by the fire around the Mount Bold Reservoir and the Scottsdale area.
“We don’t know how many of those buildings were just farm sheds and how many were homes, but our rapid assessment teams will be going in, so we’ll have that information later on today,” he said.
He said no serious injuries had been reported.
“Everyone’s pretty safe and well, but very hot conditions for our firefighters, so we’ve had some problems with heat stress and dehydration, but nobody has been required to be taken to hospital,” he said.
He said the fire would take a few days to extinguish, and people could expect to see smoke from the Adelaide Plains during that time.
The South Eastern Freeway is open to all traffic but there are road closures across a large area around the fire.
Rain expected over area today
The mercury stayed above 24 degrees Celsius overnight in Adelaide after a top of 43C yesterday.
Senior forecaster Brett Gage said the city could expect showers in the morning, with more rain and a possible thunderstorm in the afternoon, when a wind change is also expected to come through.
Up to 15 millimetres of rain is expected in Adelaide.
Mr Stark said the wind change would “provide some challenges”, but the rain was welcome.
“There’s a little bit of rain moving across the Yorke Peninsula and the Eyre Peninsula this morning and that will be of some benefit as well,” he said.
“It’s as much about the lowering temperatures and the increasing humidity as the day goes on, which will be great,” he said.
Up to 80mm of rain is forecast for South Australia’s northern agricultural area today, along with possible heavy falls and flooding in the north-west pastoral area.
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