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34 schools closed as SA braces for catastrophic fire danger

South Australia is bracing for one of the most critical fire weather days in over four years, with more than 30 regional schools closed and numerous events cancelled amid catastrophic bushfire warnings.

South Australia is bracing for one of the most critical fire weather days in over four years, with more than 30 regional schools closed and numerous events cancelled amid catastrophic bushfire warnings.

The Bureau of Meteorology and emergency services are alerting the public about the “most significant fire weather risk” the state has faced in recent years, with Adelaide expecting a high of 36°C and possible storms before temperatures plummet to 19°C on Saturday.

Catastrophic fire conditions are forecasted for the Eastern Eyre Peninsula, Flinders, Mid North, Yorke Peninsula, and the Riverland. Extreme warnings are in place for the Mount Lofty Ranges, Murraylands, Upper South East, North East Pastoral, and West Coast, with total fire bans issued by the Country Fire Service (CFS).

Media and the public are advised that TOTAL FIRE BANS have been declared for 08 December 2023 in the following Fire Ban Districts:

Northeast Pastoral – Extreme
West Coast – Extreme
Eastern Eyre Peninsula – Catastrophic
Flinders – Catastrophic
Mid North – Catastrophic
Mount Lofty Ranges – Extreme
Yorke Peninsula – Catastrophic
Riverland – Catastrophic
Murraylands – Extreme
Upper South East – Extreme

The weather will bring wind gusts of up to 90km/h and an increased risk of dry and gusty thunderstorm activity across the state.

SA Power Networks (SAPN) is preparing for widespread blackouts, particularly in regional areas, advising customers to be ready for extended outages. Paul Roberts, a SAPN spokesperson, stated, “We’re putting all our resources into this.

We are mobilising a range of additional resources to assist local crews in responding to the conditions.”

CFS Chief Officer Brett Loughlin described the situation as “the worst-case scenario for bushfire activity,” with firefighters on high alert.

He emphasized the need for community awareness and vigilance, noting, “Although many parts of South Australia have experienced wet weather recently, the hot temperatures, strong winds, and fuel loads across the state, paired with significant risk of dry lightning, will mean communities may face threats from fast-moving, intense grass fires.”

Several national parks and reserves in the affected regions will be closed due to fire risks. Emergency Services Meteorologist Hannah Marsh from the Bureau of Meteorology warned of temperatures around 46°C in Port Pirie and Renmark on Friday.

She also highlighted the risk of dangerous fire weather starting early on Friday morning with dry lightning and very strong winds.

In response, the National Large Air Tanker has been relocated to South Australia, ahead of the expected severe weather conditions. The CFS urges everyone to stay informed, prepare their bushfire plans, and be ready to act quickly to ensure safety.

SCHOOLS CLOSED 8/12/2023

Booborowie Primary School
Brinkworth Primary School
Burra Community School
Burra Early Learning Centre
Bute Early Learning & Primary School
Clare High School
Clare Primary School
Clare Valley Children’s Centre
Cleve Area School
Cleve District Children’s Centre
Eudunda Community Preschool
Gladstone Primary School
Koolunga Primary School
Manoora Primary School
Melrose Primary School
Moonta Area School
Moonta Kindergarten
Morgan Primary School
Napperby Primary School
Orroroo Area School
Port Broughton Area School
Port Broughton Kindergarten
Saddleworth Early Learning Centre
Saddleworth Primary School
Snowtown Primary School
Spalding Primary School
Tarlee Primary School
Wallaroo Mines Primary School
Yorketown Area School
Eudunda Area School
Gladstone High School
Watervale Primary School
Yorketown Community Children’s Centre
Blanchetown Primary School

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