Dozens of homes are feared lost in a ferocious bushfire near Adelaide which, on Saturday afternoon, was still burning out of control, with high winds keeping the fire moving quickly through the area during the day.
Hundreds of firefighters and six water bombers are fighting the main blaze, called the Sampson Flat fire, which is to the northeast of Adelaide and authorities have warned poses a threat to life.
The CFS, South Australia’s rural fire service, has been releasing maps of the burnt area since it started yesterday which, in sequence, show how quickly the bushfire has grown in less than 24 hours. The first map from late on Friday showed it at just under 700 hectares but in the last map, released around lunchtime today, it covered almost 10,000 hectares with a 126km perimeter.
Below are the maps in sequence. The times are when the maps were released, local time.
1. 6pm Friday. The perimeter is 12km and 694 hectares have been burnt. For reference, two points on the map are circled – the town of Kersbrook and a cluster of farms marked on Shillabeer Road.
2. 7.30pm Friday. It’s not long after the first map was released but the perimeter has now grown to 18km, mainly eastwards, and 1,486 hectares have been burnt.
3. 8am Saturday. The perimeter is now 39km, and 4,742 hectares have been burnt. The fire is starting to move south and its western flank is starting to edge towards more populated areas. On its northern edge Sampson Flat is now consumed, and the fire is spreading south, toward Ingleburn, Millbrook, Cuddlee Creek, Chain of Ponds and Millbrook Reservoir. Authorities warned that wind gusts of up to 110km/h were expected.
4. 1.30pm Saturday. The perimeter is now 126km with a vast 9,901 hectares burnt. The fire has made it past Millbrook and its reservoir and is travelling towards Gumeracha in the east and Inglewood in the west.
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