Australia: Power switched off in parts of SA amid catastrophic fire danger conditions - - PressFrom - Australia

Australia Power switched off in parts of SA amid catastrophic fire danger conditions

05:47  20 november  2019
05:47  20 november  2019 Source:

What is 'catastrophic' fire danger?

  What is 'catastrophic' fire danger? Greater Sydney and Hunter residents are bracing for "off the scale" fire danger on Tuesday.The NSW Rural Fire Service have determined the fire risk as "catastrophic", the first time this level of danger has been forecast for Sydney.

following catastrophic fire conditions - the highest possible level of bushfire danger - in the past week. in effect, giving emergency powers to Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons and the northern part of that region, "bringing the risk of lightning as an ignition source for new fires ."

“We had a situation where the fire conditions were worsening. There were very strong and strengthening winds and the fire danger conditions were Frank said after the Ash Wednesday fires in 1983, legislation was put in place that gives SA Power Networks as the State’s electricity distributor

a group of people sitting in a tree: CFS officers attended a flare-up near Port Lincoln which has been extinguished. (Supplied: Toni Castley)© Provided by Australian Broadcasting Corporation CFS officers attended a flare-up near Port Lincoln which has been extinguished. (Supplied: Toni Castley) South Australia's Country Fire Service (CFS) has warned people in extreme and catastrophic fire danger areas to enact their bushfire survival plans today, as temperatures surpass 40 degrees Celsius in some parts of the state.

Catastrophic conditions have been forecast for the eastern and lower Eyre Peninsula, the Yorke Peninsula, the west coast, the Mid North, Kangaroo Island and the Mount Lofty Ranges, while the rest of the state has an extreme or severe rating.

Weather experts predict 'hot, dry and particularly dangerous day' for Sydney

  Weather experts predict 'hot, dry and particularly dangerous day' for Sydney Sydney and surrounding areas are forecast to be hit hardest by tomorrow's high temperatures and strong winds. Parts of Queensland remain on high alert – here's what is expected.New South Wales © AAP NSW is forecast to experience extremely dangerous weather tomorrow due to dry conditions, heat and wind. A particularly hot air mass moving across the state ahead of a cold front will bring a one-day spike in temperatures tomorrow."It's going to be one super-hot day but we're not looking at heat wave conditions," Weatherzone meteorologist Kim Westcott said.

Catastrophic fire conditions are predicted in parts of South Australia, with residents in some areas being urged to evacuate. The Country Fire Service forecast catastrophic fire danger in the northwest pastoral and west coast districts on Friday. People in those districts should leave on

Catastrophic fire conditions are expected on Wednesday for the lower Eyre Peninsula, the Yorke Peninsula, the Mid North and the Several fires escalated across the state's coast on Wednesday , with two blazes threatening. Total fire bans declared for parts of NSW and SA as temperatures soar.

A total fire ban is in place across South Australia, with many locations set to reach record-breaking temperatures.

SA Power Networks has turned off power to Port Lincoln and the Lower Eyre Peninsula due to the catastrophic conditions.

It said about 10,000 customers would be impacted.

It follows the network being disconnected in Port Lincoln during a bushfire at Duck Ponds which threatened the town last week.

Earlier, Paul Roberts from the network said it was a "firm possibility" that power would be shut down in the region.

Firefighters are responding to several fires, including one at Finniss on the Fleurieu Peninsula, but none have prompted emergency warnings.

The SA Metropolitan Fire Service is also working to contain a structure fire at a warehouse near South Road at Hilton, west of the CBD.

'Move horses to paddocks' amid fire threat

  'Move horses to paddocks' amid fire threat Animal owners are being urged to act quickly as raging bushfires threaten swathes of NSWHorse owners are being urged to move their animals to a safe place in the face of the catastrophic bushfire threat.

Catastrophic fire danger conditions have been declared for much of South Australia for Wednesday, with more than 100 schools closed and at-risk residents told to leave their homes. It warned a bushfire could not be controlled in such conditions . A total fire ban will be in place across the state.

Conditions rated as “ catastrophic ” left New South Wales firefighters battling dozens of blazes across the state with fears dozens of properties could be lost. “Southerly changes always present significant challenges and significant dangers for firefighters and those that are in and around fire affected

SA Police said the fire, near the corner of South Road and Sir Donald Bradman Drive, had caused traffic to be diverted and said motorists should avoid the area if possible.

Owner of the wine warehouse, James Wu, said six people were inside the shop when the fire ignited in the roof.

He said staff managed to evacuate safely, but he had lost at least half a million dollars worth of wine.

South Road is closed to northbound traffic as dozens of firefighters continue to extinguish the blaze adjacent to the Hilton Hotel.

South Road is one of Adelaide's main roads connecting the northern and southern suburbs.

CFS issues warning on conditions

CFS assistant chief officer Brenton Eden said the conditions would be unrelenting.

"From sunrise until well past midnight, this state is going to experience very difficult fire conditions," he said.

"They will challenge the fire service to control them and, as people will have seen in NSW, should a fire start, the fire activity will be intense, it will be fast and it will be difficult to control."

Firefighters on high alert as conditions deteriorate in NSW, Qld and SA

  Firefighters on high alert as conditions deteriorate in NSW, Qld and SA Firefighters are preparing for another day of dangerous fire conditions as dry and windy weather sweeps across parts of NSW, Qld and SA.Sydney residents woke to a thick smoke haze across the city on Tuesday as a result of an out-of-control blaze burning in the Hawkesbury region.

There are total fire bans in parts of WA with the state experiencing catastrophic fire conditions . The Department of Fire and Emergency Services is warning that if a fire starts in the affected areas It said it would take significant firefighting resources and cooler conditions to bring any fire under control.

Extreme fire danger conditions in the coming days could lead Pacific Gas & Electric Co. to shut off Shutoffs could affect parts of Butte, Lake, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sierra, Sonoma and Yuba Similar conditions spurred PG&E to turn off power to nearly 60,000 people in Northern California for

This morning Mr Eden said while the CFS was prepared, the conditions were expected to be tough.

"These are the worst fire conditions we've experienced since going back to Pinery four years ago where we lost 85,000 hectares and [had] two fatalities in that tragic accident," he told ABC Radio Adelaide.

"We've got 10,000 firefighters in the CFS ready to go.

"For our volunteers some of them will already be at the station, many will be rostered into shifts for today and tonight."

He said it was vital for those in bushfire-prone areas, particularly in the Adelaide Hills, to be prepared and for people to steer clear of using power tools.

"Anyone using tools on the landscape should be very mindful today that any fire that starts will immediately be in conditions that are most unlikely for us to be able to extinguish," he said.

"We don't want to see tens of thousands of people driving down the South Eastern Freeway if the freeway and the Adelaide Hills is in a danger zone.

"One way to avoid that is for people who don't need to be in the Adelaide Hills today to have already made a decision to move elsewhere."

Hundred schools could close as state nears record heat

  Hundred schools could close as state nears record heat More than 100 South Australian schools could close tomorrow, as the state braces for catastrophic fire danger conditions. The temperature is set to soar to 42 degrees in Adelaide – just shy of the city's hottest November day on record, 42.7 in 1962. More than 20 locations across South Australia are forecast to swelter through record-breaking heat, with strong, northerly winds elevating the risk of bushfire. Fire danger ratings issued for Wednesday have classified six districts as catastrophic, including the Mount Lofty Ranges.

Capital Weather Gang. Unprecedented, ‘ catastrophic ’ fire danger for Sydney as bush fires rage amid Conditions in New South Wales on Tuesday are being compared to one of the darkest days in Smoke from fires in northern NSW is starting to settle in parts of the state including Sydney. A positive Indian Ocean Dipole occurs when the water is cooler than average off the coast of Sumatra

Parts of the state under severe fire danger on Tuesday included Greater Sydney, Greater Hunter, Illawarra/Shoalhaven, Southern Ranges and Central Ranges fire regions. “Even though it’s not a catastrophic danger it’s still going to be bad fire days,” he said.

Lincoln CFS captain Greg Napier said stickybeaks should stay away from burning fires.

Pictures: Bushfires rage across NSW

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 13: General view of a destroyed home following bushfire damage on November 13, 2019 in Rainbow Flat, Australia. Catastrophic fire conditions - the highest possible level of bushfire danger - have eased across greater Sydney, Illawarra and Hunter areas thanks to a slight cool change, however dozens of bushfires are still burning. A state of emergency, as declared by NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Monday, is still in effect, giving emergency powers to Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons and prohibiting fires across the state. (Photo by Sam Mooy/Getty Images)

"Stay away — stay off the roads … in a fire they are a dangerous place to be," Mr Napier said.

"They are a threat to our firefighters and they are a threat to people on the road.

"We don't need onlookers around our fires blocking access, gates and waterpoints."

SA Police will target fire-prone areas throughout the state today to detect fire activity or risky behaviour, as well as focus on arsonists within the community.

Assistant Commissioner Noel Bamford told ABC Radio Adelaide there were 81 people in South Australia that police considered "persons of interest".

He said except for six people who were currently in prison, police would be checking on the majority of the other persons of interest.

"Just to remind these people that we know who they are, we know where they live," he said.

"We want to make sure they are behaving themselves."

SA Police has also warned motorists across the state to be aware of potential dust storms.

It said drivers in both metropolitan and regional areas should remain vigilant as visibility could be impacted and all motorists should drive to the conditions.

Premier says 'play this one very safely'

SA Premier Steven Marshall has urged South Australians to stay safe and to check on their loved ones as often as they could.

Three fires lit at Adelaide TAFE campus

  Three fires lit at Adelaide TAFE campus Three fires have been deliberately lit at an Adelaide TAFE campus. Three fires have been deliberately lit at a TAFE in Adelaide, sparking fears ahead of a day of dangerous bushfire conditions.Police and fire crews responded to reports of a fire in a toilet block at the Elizabeth TAFE campus, north of the CBD, just after 10am Tuesday.The fire was extinguished by MFS firefighters, but the asbestos toilet block will need to be demolished and removed.While emergency services were on the scene, two other fires were reported at a nearby rubbish bin and inside a building.

Seven districts have been catastrophic fire danger zones - including the Mount Lofty Ranges and Mid North near Adelaide - while two were rated "extreme" and six "severe". CFS assistant chief officer Brenton Eden said emergency services would spend the day on high alert. "We don't take seven

Eastern Australia endured severe " off the scale" fire conditions on Sunday amid a record-breaking heatwave that sparked dire warnings from authorities. "They are catastrophic , they are labelled catastrophic for a reason, they are rare, they are infrequent, and to put it simply, they are off the old

"Today is going to be an extraordinarily hot day, it's the potential for us to have the hottest November day in the history of South Australia," he said.

"Our message to people is 'play this one very safely, don't take risks'.

"Look after yourself, look after your friends, your neighbours, your loved ones."

He also encouraged people to keep across warnings throughout the day, particularly as the temperature increases this afternoon.

"We're also encouraging people to as much as possible, if they are in a catastrophic fire danger area, to stay connected with radio alerts, with CFS alerts, with social media," he said.

"[Just] making sure they are doing everything they can to protect themselves during this extreme situation."

Highest number of school closures

The Department for Education has announced 111 schools and kindergartens will be closed today, including 65 in the Mount Lofty Ranges.

The department's executive director for infrastructure Ross Treadwell said the closures would allow families in high-risk areas to enact bushfire plans.

"When we had some of our previous closures we've had large numbers, but certainly from my recollection this is one of the highest school closures that we've done," Mr Treadwell said.

Chantal Berry from Basket Range, in the Adelaide Hills, has prepared her action plan and will join her children in Adelaide this morning.

"If there's a fire, no-one's really going to be able to do that much to stop it going through, so the more we can do in advance to help protect our property and our house the better it's going to be," Ms Berry said.

SA bushfires burning throughout the state, residents told to take shelter

  SA bushfires burning throughout the state, residents told to take shelter Emergency warnings are in place for two fires in South Australia's Barossa Valley and near Port Wakefield, while a fire at Yorke Peninsula has been downgraded. All three fires have been contained.Catastrophic conditions are being experienced on the eastern and lower Eyre Peninsula, the Yorke Peninsula, the west coast, the Mid North, Kangaroo Island and the Mount Lofty Ranges, while the rest of the state has an extreme or severe rating.

Firefighters are battling a fire front of some 6,000km, the equivalent distance of a return Sydney-Perth trip, Rogers said on Monday. “Even though it’s not a catastrophic danger [this week] it’s still going to be bad fire days,” Rogers told reporters in Sydney.

The SA Department for Education announces 111 schools and kindergartens will be closed as a safety measure during catastrophic fire danger conditions on Wednesday.

She prepared her home for the fire conditions earlier this week.

"We try to clear everything away that's wooden or soft, like curtains, anything that's outside — clean out the gutters, make sure the rainwater tanks are full, just make sure everything is in place so if there is a fire, someone can protect the house for us," she said.

She said her community had been very supportive in getting ready for today and staying safe was the top priority.

"Everyone is really supportive of each other in the decision each family makes," she said.

"Stay safe, look after your families first, make sure all the kids and the animals are safe … properties come second."

Twelve national parks will be closed across the state, including Belair National Park and the Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary.

South Australia

The SA Housing Authority has also this morning issued a state-wide "code red" for people sleeping rough.

A top of 42C is forecast for Adelaide.

The record November temperature for Adelaide's West Terrace weather station is 42.7C, set in 1962.

The temperature in Adelaide is currently 40.1C while north of Adelaide at Parafield it is currently 42.8C.

Roseworthy is currently sitting at 43.2C and the temperature has reached 44.3C at the Nullarbor.

Murray Bridge, Waikerie and Ceduna are heading for 45C, while the Bureau of Meteorology has tipped a high of 48C for Oak Valley, in the state's far west.

Red Cross Adelaide and South East regional services manager David Walshaw said people should check on their neighbours' welfare.

"We'd ask that people, if they have the time, just to knock on their neighbour's door to check that they're OK and to ensure that they're being well catered for in this hot temperature," he said.

"… Elderly people particularly and young people do dehydrate very quickly so we want them to get a water bottle and keep it with them and remind themselves to drink water.

"If you can, add a permanent or temporary shade structure to your windows, especially on the north-facing walls, just to keep that heat out."

State Emergency Service spokesman Jon Carr said the winds were likely to bring down trees and branches, particularly in heavily wooded areas such as the Mount Lofty Ranges and the Fleurieu Peninsula.

"Trees are going to come down tomorrow for sure," he said.

"Be very mindful of where you're parking your car."

At Microsoft News Australia we've partnered with the giving platform Benevity to raise funds for Australian Red Cross, St Vincent De Paul Society and The Salvation Army; these organisations are helping communities across the country devastated by bushfires. You can help these organisations by donating here and for the latest news and RFS links visit Bushfire emergency.

SA bushfires burning throughout the state, residents told to take shelter .
Connect your Galaxy this Holiday. Even if it’s a Galaxy far, far away. Witness the Force in Star Wars: #TheRiseofSkywalker in theaters Dec 20th. #RescueChewieDog #StarWars

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