New South Wales Rural Fire Service crew members fight a fire near Mount Wilson in the Blue Mountains of Australia on 24 October 2013. Wildfires threatened the western suburbs of Sydney on Wednesday as high winds and temperatures created at least a dozen new fires that were blazing across a 1,000-mile stretch of New South Wales. Photo: Dan Himbrechts / AAP / LANDOV

By Lia Harris
6 November 2013

(The Advertiser) – As South Australia prepares for a scorcher with catastrophic fire conditions in some areas, CFS crews have already extinguished two scrub fires overnight and attended a third near Birdwood this morning. 

CFS crews were called to a grass fire at Forreston, about 5km from Birdwood, at about 8.15am, and remain on site fighting the blaze.

MFS crews were also called to two scrub and grass fires after 1am at Smithfield and Broadmeadows, which were quickly contained.

The CFS has warned it will be a "very dangerous day" for South Australia, with catastrophic fire conditions forecast for the state's West Coast and the mercury set to soar to 35C in the metropolitan area.

Residents in high-risk bushfire areas already have had a taste of what's to come this summer. On Saturday, a scrub fire near Aldgate left residents shocked and shaken after flames came within metres of houses and burned more than 20ha of grassland. The fire also robbed Arbury Park Outdoor School students of part of their "bush classroom".

Volunteers will be on high alert again today with expected hot, northerly winds providing perfect fire conditions across much of the state.

They have asked farmers to rethink reaping their crops and urged people along the West Coast to enact their bushfire safety plan.

"For those in the West Coast that don't have a bushfire survival plan - my advice is for those people is to think about relocating today," Director of Operations and Capability Planning Malim Watts said. [more]

South Australia braces for extreme heat and catastrophic fire conditions - CFS battling fires at Smithfield, Broadmeadows and Forreston 

A firefighter mops up on 23 October 2013, after a firestorm swept through Bilpin, Australia. Photo: Rob Griffith / AP

(ABC) – Forecast strong winds and high temperatures have led to declaration of a catastrophic danger rating for the West Coast fire district of South Australia, the first such rating of the season.

Danger ratings ranging from severe to extreme apply for the North West Pastoral, Eastern and Lower Eyre Peninsula, Mid North, Yorke Peninsula and Mount Lofty Ranges districts.

Authorities say two aerial fire bombers will be stationed at Port Lincoln.

George Kozminski of the Country Fire Service said people on the state's west coast need to be prepared for any problems during the day.

"There's been significant grass growth out in the west coast with early rains and also good rains during the growing season," he said.

"There's plenty of fuel out there and although many farmers in the farming land have probably finished reaping or just about close to it there is still a significant fuel load out there even with the stubble that's remaining."

The region's schools and kindergartens will be closed for the day at Elliston, Karcultaby, Lock and Miltaburra.

All school buses services for those schools that are open have been cancelled due to the danger. [more]

Catastrophic fire rating imposed for West Coast district of SA



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