Wednesday, November 18, 2009

"Catastrophic" Fire Conditions Expected In South Australia Today

The still-fresh horror of February's Victorian bushfire holocaust puts an extremely grim perspective on all such warnings now from the Bureau Of Meteorology :

Wednesday, 18 November 2009 is forecast to be very hot and dry for most of South Australia. Fresh northwesterly winds over the pastorals and parts of the northern agricultural districts will shift fresh southwesterly during the day.

Catastrophic Fire Danger [100+] is forecast for the Northwest Pastoral and Flinders

Extreme Fire Danger [75-99] is forecast for the Northeast Pastoral, Eastern Eyre Peninsula and Mid North

Severe Fire Danger [50-74] is forecast for the Riverland Total Fire Ban district.

The Country Fire Service advises that fires burning under these conditions are likely to be fast moving, unpredictable and uncontrollable
The BoM alert was issued at 4.25pm Tuesday afternoon.

ABC News reported last night that residents in Catastrophic Fire Danger regions of South Australia had only until this morning to get out :

CFS strategic services manager Mick Ayre says residents of the North West Pastoral and Flinders districts must decide whether they will stay or go as soon as possible.

"The best advice we can give you is to think very carefully about whether you can withstand or fight a fire on a day of catastrophic fire ratings," he said.

Mr Ayre says if people decide to leave, they must be gone by early tomorrow morning at the latest.

"In a catastrophic fire danger situation, no houses are definitely guaranteed to survive," he said.

"If you decide to stay you could die in the attempt to save your property... "

A volunteer fire fighter told the ABC two-thirds of the people who lived in areas under 'Catastrophic Fire Danger" were still not aware, by yesterday evening, that they might have to make a potentially live saving decision by this morning.