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Severe fire weather alert as SA braces for catastrophic conditions

The South Australian Country Fire Service (CFS) is on high alert, warning of potentially devastating fire weather conditions expected to hit the state tomorrow.

The South Australian Country Fire Service (CFS) is on high alert, warning of potentially devastating fire weather conditions expected to hit the state tomorrow.

Forecasters predict a dangerous combination of soaring temperatures in the mid-40s, fierce wind gusts reaching up to 90 km/h, and widespread dry lightning, creating a severe fire threat across multiple regions.

Catastrophic Fire Danger Ratings have been issued for the Mid North, Flinders, Yorke Peninsula, Riverland, and Eastern Eyre Peninsula districts. Additionally, the Mount Lofty Ranges, North East Pastoral, West Coast, Upper South East, and Murraylands are facing Extreme fire danger ratings.

CFS Chief Officer Brett Loughlin AFSM emphasized the severity of the impending conditions, highlighting the risk of fast-moving, intense grass fires due to the combination of high temperatures, strong winds, and significant fuel loads. “Fires can threaten suddenly and travel very fast,” he cautioned, urging the South Australian community to be vigilant and ready to enact their bushfire plans.

The CFS has urged the public to avoid complacency, reminding them of the devastating impact of bushfires under such conditions. A Catastrophic Fire Danger Rating signals the highest level of danger, where fires can start easily, spread rapidly, and prove challenging to control, posing a serious risk to life and property.

Bureau of Meteorology Emergency Services Meteorologist, Hannah Marsh, added to the warning, noting the extreme heat set to affect regions close to Adelaide, with Port Pirie and Renmark expecting temperatures around 46 degrees. She pointed out that the dangerous fire weather is likely to start early on Friday morning, exacerbated by dry lightning and very strong winds.

In preparation for the extreme fire threat, the National Large Air Tanker has been relocated to South Australia, standing ready to respond to any outbreaks. The CFS and local authorities are closely monitoring the situation and have called on residents to stay informed, be prepared, and prioritize safety.

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